“Neither Settler nor Native” – In conversation with Dr Mahmood Mamdani

The Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL), in partnership with the Educational Bookshop, are pleased to share this discussion with Dr Mahmood Mamdani about his new book “Neither Settler nor Native: The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities.

The book offers original arguments regarding the co-constitutive relationship between the nation-state and the colonial state. According to the book’s description, “[i]n case after case around the globe – from the New World to South Africa, Israel to Germany to Sudan – the colonial state and the nation-state have been mutually constructed through the politicisation of a religious or ethnic majority at the expense of an equally manufactured minority. […]

Neither Settler nor Native” offers a vision for arresting this historical process. It rejects “the ‘criminal’ solution attempted at Nuremberg, which held individual perpetrators responsible without questioning Nazism as a political project and thus the violence of the nation-state itself. Instead, political violence demands political solutions: not criminal justice for perpetrators but a rethinking of the political community for all survivors – victims, perpetrators, bystanders, beneficiaries – based on common residence and the commitment to build a common future without the permanent political identities of settler and native.”

The interview was conducted by CBRL’s Kenyon Institute Director Dr Toufic Haddad.

About the speaker:

Dr Mahmood Mamdani is Herbert Lehman Professor of Government and Professor of Anthropology and Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia University and Director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research in Kampala. He is the author of “Citizen and Subject, When Victims Become Killers” and “Good Muslim, Bad Muslim.”