Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
Conseil pour le développement de la recherche en sciences sociales en Afrique
Conselho para o Desenvolvimento da Pesquisa em Ciências Sociais em África
مجلس تنمية البحوث الإجتماعية في أفريقيا

The Crisis of the State and Regionalism in West Africa: Identity, Citizenship and Conflict

Edited by W. Alade Fawole and Charles Ukeje. Dakar, CODESRIA, 2005, 240 p., ISBN 2-86978-166-0

Number of visits: 6378

‘A new generation of West African social scientists takes on a new generation of postcolonial problems and possibilities – transitional justice, regional integration and collective security, refugee flows, and the complex interplay of local identities, state institutions and global forces. Theoretically informed and publicly engaged scholarship!’

Ron Kassimir, Program Director, SSRC, USA

‘This volume on a deeply troubled yet blessed part of Africa weaves together a complex interface of history, democracy, identity, conflict and reconciliation in the West African sub-region. Refreshingly illuminating in theoretical and empirical depth, the book addresses cutting edge precepts, processes and prospects provoked by citizenship, identity politics and conflict in the often unpredictable search for democracy that works. An indispensable addition to the libraries of those concerned about the future of the state in contemporary West Africa’.

Professor Adigun A.B. Agbaje, Dean, Faculty of the Social Sciences University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

West Africa, with its large number of mini-states, has suffered more political misfortunes than any other sub-region of Africa. No doubt, the glaring artificiality of the post-colonial state, coupled with the failure of the local ruling elites to rise above the limitations of their provenance, is to blame for the myriad crises. The sub-region has been plagued by one-party authoritarianism, violent coups and military dictatorship, leading to the progressive alienation of the people from the state, and thus raising the critical issues of identity and citizenship which are at the base of political crisis and conflict. Many decades after independence, the sub-region continues to grapple with the problems of intra-state conflict, political instability, state failure and outright collapse, thus calling into question the viability and survivability of the Westphalian state model in Africa. Collectively, West African states are still in search of democratic nationhood.

The book critically interrogates the internal dimensions of the identity and citizenship conflicts at the root of state crisis and the steps so far taken to tackle them. Scholars and students of contemporary African politics and development as well as policy makers should find much of relevance in this well researched volume.

W. Alade Fawole is currently a professor in the Department of International Relations, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from George Washington University, USA. He specializes in Nigerian politics and foreign policy, an area in which he has published a number of books.

Charles Ukeje, Ph.D. is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of International Relations, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

November 11 2005