Bondage of Boundaries and Identity Politics in Postcolonial Africa: The ‘Northern Problem’ and Ethno-Futures

Bondage of Boundaries and Identity Politics in Postcolonial Africa: The ‘Northern Problem’ and Ethno-Futures

What has confounded African efforts to create cohesive, prosperous and just states in postcolonial Africa? What has been the long-term impact of the Berlin Conference of 1884-5 on African unity and African statehood? Why is postcolonial Africa haunted by various ethno national conflicts? Is secession and irredentism the solution? Can we talk of ethno-futures for Africa?

Detailed Information

  • Title: Bondage of Boundaries and Identity Politics in Postcolonial Africa: The ‘Northern Problem’ and Ethno-Futures
  • Editor/s: Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatshenoi & Brilliant Mhlanga
  • Publisher: AISA
  • Country of Origin: South Africa
  • ISBN: 9780798303910

What has confounded African efforts to create cohesive, prosperous and just states in postcolonial Africa? What has been the long-term impact of the Berlin Conference of 1884-5 on African unity and African statehood? Why is postcolonial Africa haunted by various ethno national conflicts? Is secession and irredentism the solution? Can we talk of ethno-futures for Africa?

These are the kinds of fundamental questions that this important book addresses. Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni and Brilliant Mhlanga’s book introduces the metaphor of the ‘northern problem’ to dramatise the fact that there is no major African postcolonial state that does not enclose within its borders a disgruntled minority that is complaining of marginalization, domination and suppression.

The irony is that in 1963 at the formation of the OAU, postcolonial African leaders embraced the boundaries arbitrarily drawn by European colonialists and institutionalised the principle of inviolability of ‘bondage of boundaries’ thereby contributing to the problem of ethno-national conflicts. The successful struggle for independence of the Eritrean people and the secession of South Sudan in 2011 have encouraged other dominated and marginalised groups throughout Africa to view secession as an option.

Ndlovu-Gatsheni and Mhlanga successfully assembled competent African scholars to deal exhaustively with various empirical cases of ethno-national conflicts throughout the African continent as well as engaging with such pertinent issues as Pan-Africanism as a panacea to these problems. This important book delves deeper into complex issues of space, languages, conflict, security, nation-building, war on terror, secession, migration, citizenship, militias, liberation, violence and Pan-Africanism.

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