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African Studies: Boundaries, Communities and State-Making in West Africa: The Centrality of the Margins...
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Paul Nugent (University of Edinburgh)
African Studies: Boundaries, Communities and State-Making in West Africa: The Centrality of the Margins by Paul Nugent (University of Edinburgh) at Abbey's Bookshop,

African Studies: Boundaries, Communities and State-Making in West Africa: The Centrality of the Margins

Paul Nugent (University of Edinburgh)


9781107020689

Cambridge University Press


Social & cultural anthropology;
Comparative politics;
Central government;
Regional government;
Geopolitics


Hardback

636 pages

$163.95
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Border regions are often considered to be the neglected margins. In this book, Paul Nugent argues that through a comparison of the Senegambia and the trans-Volta (Ghana/Togo), we can see that the geographical margins have shaped notional centres at least as much as the reverse. Through a study of three centuries of history, this book demonstrates that states were forged through an extended process of converting a topography of settled states and slaving frontiers into colonial borders. It argues that post-colonial states and larger social contracts have been configured very differently as a consequence. It underscores the impact on regional dynamics and the phenomenon of peripheral urbanism. Nugent also addresses the manner in which a variegated sense of community has been forged amongst Mandinka, Jola, Ewe and Agotime populations who have both shaped and been shaped by the border. This is an exercise in reciprocal comparison and shuttles between scales, from the local and the particular to the national and the regional.

By:   Paul Nugent (University of Edinburgh)
Imprint:   Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 157mm,  Spine: 32mm
Weight:   1.140kg
ISBN:   9781107020689
ISBN 10:   1107020689
Pages:   636
Publication Date:   August 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Paul Nugent is Professor of Comparative African History and is located in both the the Centre of African Studies and the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. He has published extensively on borders, but also on Ghanaian politics, post-colonial African history and the history of South African wine. His books include African Since Independence: A Comparative History (2nd edition, 2012) and A Decade of Ghana: Politics, Economy and Society, 2004-2013 (with M. Amoah, K. Aning and N. Annan, 2015). Nugent was the co-editor of the Journal of Modern African Studies from 2012 until 2017, alongside Leo Villalon, and has since joined the editorial board of this journal. He is also the founder and chair of the African Borderlands Research Network (ABORNE).


'This must-read West African showpiece, magnificently executed in the finest traditions of African historical scholarship, with notably intensive archival and library research and extensive fieldwork, should be replicated for other regions to bridge a yearning gap in African and global historiography.' Anthony I. Asiwaju, University of Lagos, Nigeria 'A model example of deeply-contextualized comparative research. It makes a compelling case that the analytical framework within which African states are viewed should be shifted from 'neo-patrimonialism' to 'social contract' - the latter being deftly deployed throughout this well-written and accessible study.' Gareth Austin, University of Cambridge 'This ambitious work argues that to understand states and state-making in contemporary Africa, one must focus on 'the margins' - that is, on the making of boundaries and borders. This radical redefinition of analytic perspective, developed in a text of grand historical and spatial sweep, has produced a book that will be a great interest to historians, political scientists, geographers and anthropologists.' Catherine Boone, London School of Economics and Political Science 'A tremendously creative study, masterfully bringing to the West African fore that which has hitherto been seen as marginal: the edges of the colonial and postcolonial state. With his fine frontier brush, Nugent paints us a different conceptual picture of how we ought to reimagine the centres and perimeters of African polities.' William F. S. Miles, Northeastern University, Boston `This must-read West African showpiece, magnificently executed in the finest traditions of African historical scholarship, with notably intensive archival and library research and extensive fieldwork, should be replicated for other regions to bridge a yearning gap in African and global historiography.' Anthony I. Asiwaju, University of Lagos, Nigeria `A model example of deeply-contextualized comparative research. It makes a compelling case that the analytical framework within which African states are viewed should be shifted from 'neo-patrimonialism' to 'social contract' - the latter being deftly deployed throughout this well-written and accessible study.' Gareth Austin, University of Cambridge `This ambitious work argues that to understand states and state-making in contemporary Africa, one must focus on 'the margins' - that is, on the making of boundaries and borders. This radical redefinition of analytic perspective, developed in a text of grand historical and spatial sweep, has produced a book that will be a great interest to historians, political scientists, geographers and anthropologists.' Catherine Boone, London School of Economics and Political Science `A tremendously creative study, masterfully bringing to the West African fore that which has hitherto been seen as marginal: the edges of the colonial and postcolonial state. With his fine frontier brush, Nugent paints us a different conceptual picture of how we ought to reimagine the centres and perimeters of African polities.' William F. S. Miles, Northeastern University, Boston

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