Tag Archives | borders

Colonial borders still influence how academics write about Africa

Africa is not a country—but a continent with one billion people, living in 55 different countries, and speaking more than 2,000 languages. Yet a relatively narrow coverage of Africa and its people exists not only in mainstream media, but as a new research paper shows, in academia as well. Virginia Tech University analyzed 20 years of research articles published in two major journals about African politics, namely African Affairs published by Oxford University and The Journal of Modern African Studies by Cambridge University. The paper investigated whether by reading Anglophone scholarship on sub-Saharan politics between 1993 and 2013, one could actually learn more about the region’s political reality and complexity. In his paper, published this month, Ryan C. Briggs, an assistant professor at the department of political science, notes that studies around sub-Saharan Africa cluster heavily on a small number of wealthier, more populous, and English-speaking nations. Fewer than half of all the countries in the region—46 in total—were written about more than 10 times, with the majority of them being former British colonies like Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. Former French colonies were the focus of about 5 papers on average, while those colonized by Britain had about 27 articles written about them. Population size also […]

Continue Reading 0

CFP: space, borders, conflict and insecurity in West Africa.

CALL FOR PAPERS   West Africa Peace and Security Network (WAPSN) Symposium 2018, Bamako, late April/early May 2018 (exact date tbc)   This call for contributions to the WAPSN symposium 2018 invites proposals on the topic of space, borders, conflict and insecurity in West Africa.   In West Africa, conflict and insecurity are constantly depicted as transnational or spilling over borders. Terrorism is said to destabilise countries throughout the Sahel region; maritime insecurity is presented as spilling over into all Gulf of Guinea coastal countries; and West Africa appears to be at the centre of a network of organised criminality that has extended its tentacles from South America to Europe.   Space and borders in West Africa are at the core of our analyses of the causes of conflict and insecurity. For example, porous borders and traditional trading routes that cut across state borders are often incriminated in assessments of insecurity in the region. Space and borders are also central to the policies that are elaborated to deal with conflict and security issues. Indeed, the West African bodies used to mediate or to implement security policies are increasingly chosen according to their geographical scope. At the same time, the ways […]

Continue Reading 0