(redirected from tribalists)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.


1. the state of existing as a separate tribe or tribes
2. the customs and beliefs of a tribal society
3. loyalty to a tribe or tribal values



in contemporary literature and in the political sphere, a concept that has a wide range of meanings: the surviving archaic institutions and organizations of clan and tribal societies; the archaic features in social development; the stage of relatively little ethnic differentiation; the mutual hostility of ethnic groups; the policy of ethnic chauvinism that grants advantages and privileges to an ethnic group as a whole or to some of its members; and the exploitation of ethnicity for political ends.

In the past as well as in the present, tribalism has been widely used by the colonialists in their efforts to hamper national liberation movements, and by the local forces of political reaction in their struggle for power. As interpreted by representatives of Africa’s progressive forces, the concept of tribalism is associated with all that is reactionary and damaging to national unity. The African progressives wage a firm struggle against all manifestations of tribalism and contrast it to the concept of “nation.”

References in periodicals archive ?
Pro-government deputies in the Assembly include a broad range of groups and reflected successful government outreach to the tribalists, and cooptation of many liberals.
Warmly encouraged by some of his fellow poets as a spokesperson for the distant, politically distressed, underrecognized, and relatively underdeveloped northeastern hill country - where dozens of non-Sanskritic tribal languages have raised Indian English to an even higher official and broader practical status than elsewhere in India and where Hindus (or Muslims) are outnumbered by animists, tribalists, and Christians - Robin S.
But since when must humanists be jealous guardians of their roots as tribalists are?
This is all part of a declension that, as British anthropologist Ernest Gellner has written, runs like this: I am a patriot, you are a nationalist, he is a chauvinist, and they are bloodyminded tribalists. No better evidence can be found than Rolling Stone's contributing racist P.
Wetang'ula said the leaders Raila is calling tribalists are the people who have invested the last 10 years supporting his presidency.
When reasonable Kenyans think their President's association with dictatorship is a tragedy and an insult, the tribalists and sycophants bow to dictatorship as a saviour.KING REHOBOAMThis debate is similar to the story of King Rehoboam in the Bible.
These raging tribalists are not fit to serve at the national level.
Pro- government deputies in the Assembly include a broad range of groups and reflect successful government outreach to the tribalists, and cooptation of many liberals.
Bold leadership will be required in the near future to override the narrow provincial concerns of both tribalists and Islamists, and instead to harness the untapped power of those millions of Jordanians who have gone well beyond Transjordanian-tribal-Palestinian-Islamist identities, and desperately seek the comforts and duties of equal citizenship under the rule of law that is equitably applied to all.
The rag-tag Tory mob in charge, and the Labour tribalists it exploits as useful idiots, treat people as fools when claiming they won't understand a simple change.
Attacking people as "dinosaurs" and "tribalists" will fool no one into believing that the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition is anything other than a disaster for the Lib Dems.