Contemporary West African States (African Studies) by Donal Cruise O'Brien, John Dunn, Richard Rathbone

By Donal Cruise O'Brien, John Dunn, Richard Rathbone

The West African states have reached adulthood. This new volume--appearing a decade after the winning West African States: Failure and Promise--provides updated reports of 9 states, together with Chad, Burkina Faso and Cameroon, that have been ignored within the past quantity, and introduces modern theories of West African politics. The ebook displays adjustments at the flooring and likewise in educational debate, significantly the notable retreat of dependency thought and Marxian research and the increase of free-market theorizing by way of either governments and students. the amount additionally includes very important observations at the political value of spiritual fundamentalism within the area, and the expansion of subnational different types of political job. The writers are famous students within the box, and contain individuals to the influential magazine Politique Africaine. this may be an invaluable textbook for everybody attracted to African politics, however it is usually a provocative contribution to the controversy at the nature of the nation and political methods in Africa.

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One of the subjects of discord between the head of the CNR and Blaise Compaore was the attitude towards the trade unions: Sankara was the partisan of a brusque effort to subdue them once and for all, by force if need be, while Compaore favoured the reestablishment of a dialogue with them. The tragic end of the first president of Burkina Faso may thus be seen as a resounding revenge for the trade unions. The confrontation with LIPAD, contrary to what was expected from it, did not result in the 'clarification' desired by the government.

18 The Cameroonian people understood without the situation having to be spelled out for them, and they didn't withhold him their support when the rupture exploded in July/August 1983. Probably for the first time since independence, a mobilization was spontaneously triggered off in favour of the established power. What did this project of Biya's consist of? In the beginning at least, and perhaps essentially in style, it was that of a simple and reputedly honest man. 19 Beyond that was the outline of a more precise programme, and one cannot dismiss the notion that this led to a misunderstanding between the president of the republic and his 'rank and file'.

If the Cameroonian reaction to some French journals which developed this line of analysis was so pointed, was it exactly because they wished to ward off a danger they knew threatened them just below the surface? And, in a certain manner, have these fears been confirmed by the revival of the ethnic problem since 1986? The problem of succession had been posed in such terms due to a rumour, probably unfounded, which had circulated in 1975. 3 More seriously, the transition organised in favour of Paul Biya in November 1982 appeared in the month of December 32 Cameroon to be a decoy intended to placate the Centre-South.

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