Islamic Society and State Power in Senegal

Disciples and Citizens in Fatick

Islamic Society and State Power in Senegal

The Sufi Muslim orders are the most significant institutions in Senegalese society. While Islamic political groups are often accused of destabilizing African states, Leonardo Villalón argues that these brotherhoods have played a crucial part in making Senegal one of the most stable and democratic of African countries. Focusing on a regional administrative center, he combines a detailed account of grassroots politics with an analysis of national and international political forces. This is a major study that should be read by every student of Islam and African politics.


"...deserves a wide readership among Africanists, political scientists, and students of Islam." Choice

"...Leonardo Villalón makes an excellent contribution to what has become, in recent years, the dominant issue in African political studies--the relationship between state and important and well-researched book. Islamic Society and State Power in Senegal is a must for all scholars interested in Senegal and African politics." Comparative Politics

"...[an] exemplary study....[a] beautifully researched study, rich in oral as well as documentary material." African Affairs

"The theoretically dense discussion of this issue, and the rich analysis of Islam in Senegal makes this book a significant example of the sort of case study useful for introducing students to Islam." Religious Studies Review

"...[an] intricate and intriguing study....This monograph deserves a wide readership among Africanists, political scientists, and students of Islam." Social & Behavioral Sciences

" important contribution to the study of the relationship of religion to politics in Senegal and more generally in the Third World." Robert Launay, American Journal of Sociology

"Through skillful use of sources and his own adroit analysis, Villalon develops his thesis convincingly....The work is useful for political scientists....Recommended for graduate students and specialists." Stephen Haarmon, Mesa Bulletin

"The author persuasively argues that Sufi brotherhoods, especially the Murid sect, have comprised the critical element in the Senegalese state's stability, exceptional in West Africa....Villalón's major work, should appeal to all Africanists interested in the social sciences." African Studies Review

"...both case study and broad statement on African politics...provides some excellent synthesis and insight into the situations of the major Senegalese brotherhoods...Villalon has given us a richly textured, well-recounted description and analysis...Islamic Society will stand for some time to come as a model of research, as case study and broadly relevant statement, and as a thorough exploration of state-society relations. It would constitute a useful study for classes in African politics." International Journal of Middle East Studies

"This book is an excellent addition to the corpus of work on Sengalese Islam in particular, as well as to our knowledge of state-society relations in Africa." Roy Dilley, Journal of Religion in Africa

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