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Title: Traditional religion in Guinea Bissau political culture
Authors: Favarato, Claudia
Keywords: Guinea Bissau
political culture
symbolic capital
African political system
African traditional religion
Cultura política
Capital simbólico
Sistema político africano
Religião tradicional africana
Issue Date: Oct-2018
Publisher: OBSERVARE. Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa
Abstract: The present article aims to unveil the importance of the indigenous animist religious system within Guinea Bissau political culture. By analysing the contrast between the inherent legitimation of State authority and local-traditional ones it is discerned the type of political culture shared by Guinean people. Taking into account the exacerbation of public responsiveness to symbols manipulation when levels of human security are felt lower by individuals, I discuss the importance of religious symbolic capital inherent in Guinea Bissau national leaders’ politics, pinpointing the case of José Bernardino “Nino” Vieira. These practices enable State authorities to legitimize their authority, to overcome the ethnical heterogeneity impasse and to compensate for loose relationships between the government and the citizens. Finally, I discuss the manipulation of the religious dimension for political ends as a milestone of the process of africanization of power, due to religious and political syncretism typical of traditional African political systems, on the one hand. On the other hand, I question how myths worshipping the national leaders might foster the breakthrough of an authoritarian political regime.
Peer Reviewed: yes
ISSN: 1647-7251
Appears in Collections:OBSERVARE - JANUS.NET e-journal of International Relations. Vol. 9, n.2 (November 2018 - April 2019)

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