Challenges to the Nation-state in Africa

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Adebayo O. Olukoshi, Liisa Laakso
Stylus Pub Llc, 1996 - Social Science - 213 pages
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The challenges facing the nation-state in contemporary Africa are increasingly attracting the attention of scholars interested to understand how the decomposition and recomposition of popular political identities on the continent are affecting the post-colonial (secular) unitary project. The studies presented in this volume show that the challenges to the post-colonial nation-state project in Africa have mainly taken ethno-regionalist, religious, and separatist forms. These challenges have been shaped and exacerbated by the environment of steep, long-drawn out economic crisis, zero-sum, market-led structural adjustment, and the legacy of decades of political authoritarianism and exclusion that dates from the colonial period. The contributors to the book argue the position that, among other things, more representative forms of government, power sharing, electoral pluralism, the re-invention of the post-colonial "social contract" (and with it public institutions), cultural autonomy for minority groups, and the devolution of power are central ingredients in any efforts at promoting national unity and a supporting civic identity in Africa.

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Preface and Acknowledgements
Chapter 2
Chapter 4

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About the author (1996)

Staffan Darnolf is with the University of Helsinki, Finland.
Liisa Laakso is with the University of Helsinki, Finland.

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