Highlight: Mountaga Diagne

Pouvoir Politique et Espace Religieux au Senegal
by Mountaga Diagne (L’Harmattan-Senegal 2014)

Young political scientists at WARA should be familiar with the name of this Senegalese researcher who completed his PhD in Canada, all the while acknowledging his academic indebtedness to the works of scholars such as Leo Villalon, Catherine Boone, and Penda Mbow—to name just a few.

Dr. Mountaga Diagne (l) and Professor Abdou Salam Fall, on right

Dr. Mountaga Diagne (l) and Professor Abdou Salam Fall, on right

On March 13, 2015 at WARC, Professor Abdou Salam Fall of IFAN and Dr. Cheikh Guèye of Enda presented Dr. Diagne’s new book, Pouvoir Politique et Espace Religieux au Senegal. According to them both, Dr Diagne’s book is a major contribution in the field of political science in Africa. They noted that Dr. Diagne’s work was a bold departure from the usual research tracks in that it acknowledges the role of other key players beyond the state—players likely to account for political governance on the continent and, particularly, in a country like Senegal. In Senegal, religion, and Islam in particular, has played a historic role for liberation and the construction of a new identity to stand up to the onslaughts of European colonization.

Likewise, Islam still plays a political role in a country like Senegal and, to illustrate this, the author chose to investigate the shifting power relations within Muslim religious spaces such as Touba (seat of the Mouride Order), Medina Baay (center of the Tidjane-Niassene Order) and Camberene (seat of the Layeene order), and between those spheres and the Senegalese central state.

The event was attended by 20 people.

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