Against the historical backdrop of successive socialist and post-socialist claims to have completely remade society, the contributors to this volume explore the complex and often paradoxical continuities between diverse post-socialist presents and their corresponding socialist and pre-socialist pasts.
The chapters focus on ways in which: pre-socialist economic, political, and cultural forms in fact endured an era of socialism and have found new life in the post-socialist present, notwithstanding revolutionary socialist claims; continuities with a pre-socialist past have been produced within the historical imaginary of post-socialism; and socialist economic, political, and cultural forms have in fact endured in a purportedly post-socialist era, despite the claims of neo-liberal reformers.
Harry West is a lecturer in Social Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
His has conducted research in the northern district of Mueda in Mozambique, where nationalist guerrillas based themselves during the anti-colonial war (1964--1974). As part of his project, he has studied how various social groups experienced, and coped with, violence during and after the war for independence.
He has also taken interest in how colonialism and revolutionary socialism reconfigured the institutions of local authority, and, more recently, how post-socialist reforms have fostered a "revival of tradition" in rural Mozambique.
Parvathi Raman is a lecturer in Social Anthropology in the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
She has conducted research in South Africa on the role of Indians in the South African Communist Party and has written about the changing character of the socialist imagination in the twentieth century.
She also works on the politics of diaspora, and multiculturalism and the neo-liberal state.