SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Manners, Anthony James (1971) Social stratification and political change in two East African kingdoms. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

PDF - Submitted Version
Download (14MB) | Preview


The problem investigated in this thesis concerns the part played by systems of economic, status and political stratification in processes of political change. It is demonstrated that two major variables required in explanation are (l) the nature of actors' perceptions of power structures in the society; (2) the differential capacities for political organization in different strata. The cases for study are the East African kingdoms of Buganda and Rwanda during the period, ending in 1962, when they were subject to colonial overrule. In parts I and II, I analyze the processes of change in structures of power in the two kingdoms along the three dimensions indicated. These processes were themselves the product of interplay between those taking place in the precolonial kingdoms and those introduced by the colonial powers. The kingdom governments retained some 'traditional' forms, with changed functions. Their offices were virtually monopolized by the most powerful economic classes and elite status groups - 'elite classes' - in each case. In the later colonial period, the legitimacy of the existing political systems was threatened as the colonial powers allowed parties to be formed which exploited structural conflicts of interest. In part III, I examine how the 'elite classes' attempted to deal with the potential challenge to their political domination. In each case they tried to mobilize the whole kingdom in structural opposition to outsiders, and to articulate unity through intensified use of distinguishing cultural forms, in a 'neotraditional' cultural strategy. I examine the internal structural context of success in organizing the Baganda as a political group, and contrast it with the context of failure in Rwanda. Explanation takes the form of examining whether prerequisites of political group organization could be fulfilled by neotraditional forms in the context of processes of structural change analyzed in parts I and II.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 14:59

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item