Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Borders, Nationalism, and the African State

Ricardo René Larémont, editor
Borders, Nationalism, and the African State
ISBN: 978-1-58826-340-7
ISBN: 978-1-62637-100-2
2005/351 pages/LC: 2004026083

"A carefully constructed analysis of the evolution of political development in multiethnic weak states."—Choice

"An insightful and thorough evaluation of the complex nexus among weak states, fragmented societies, and the challenges of civil conflict in Africa.... It will assuredly emerge as a seminal study of the fragility of the contemporary African state."—Timothy D. Sisk, University of Denver


Tackling a fundamental question in the study of contemporary African politics, Borders, Nationalism, and the African State systematically and comparatively examines the impact of colonial borders on the intertwined trajectories of ethnic conflict and state development.

The authors combine case studies (Congo, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, and Sudan) with thematic chapters to provide a vivid story of state weakness and conflict on the continent. Their richly detailed analysis and often surprising findings offer an insightful reexamination of the prospects for peace in Africa—and prompt a fresh consideration of the nature of the African state.


Ricardo René Larémont is associate professor of political science, sociology, and African studies at the State University of New York at Binghamton. His previous publications include The Causes of War and the Consequences of Peacekeeping in Africa and Islam and the Politics of Resistance in Algeria.


  • Borders, States, and Nationalism—R.R. Larémont.
  • Sudan's Turbulent Road to Nationhood—F.M. Deng.
  • Making and Remaking State and Nation in Ethiopia—E.J. Keller.
  • The Enduring Idea of the Congo—H. F. Weiss and T. Carayannis.
  • Ethnicity and National Identity in Sierra Leone—J.D. Kandeh, R.R. Larémont, and R. Cremona.
  • Ethnic Grievance or Material Greed?—R.R. Larémont and R.L. Ostergard, Jr.
  • The World Economy and the African State—W.G. Martin.
  • Conclusion—R.R. Larémont.