African borders: from conflict to coexistence

Jara Cuadrado (Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa)
Pablo Arconada (Universidad de Valladolid)
David Hume, Lecture Theatre C
Wednesday 12 June, 8:45-10:30
Wednesday 12 June, 10:45-12:30

Short abstract:

This panel is dedicated to the analysis of African boders as a place of divergence. On one hand, borders are analysed as a cause and effect of conflicts and violence outbreak. On the other hand, it is seen as an opportunity of cooperation and exchange.

Long abstract:

The construction of Nation-State in Africa after the decolonization processes forced African authorities to build a state inspired by an external model. However, those states were built in artificially territorial entities, without an ethnic, linguistic or historical basis. These disruptions have caused numerous conflicts along the continent, where borders are a cause and effect of them. Territorial disputes have been the origin of violence outbreak while some conflicts have driven to the establishment of new borders. There are several factors, endogenous and exogenous, that can explain the dynamics in African boders, which are the object of study of this panel. Moreover, there is another point to be highlighted in this panel. Traditionally, historiography has focused on border conflicts and their repercussions. Nevertheless, there are other realities that must be analyzed: cooperation between communities on both sides of the border, cultural, social and economic ties or the recovery and construction of transnational identities are also part of the border. These issues can give us a new vision and propose border areas as places of encounter and cooperation, not only as a space of conflict. This panel emphasises the study of the divergences on African borders, which are analysed both as a case of conflict and opportunity. Thus, topics of interest for submission include, but are not limited to: - Territorial borders and the construction of Nation-State in African - Frontier conflicts - Politicization of territorial borders - Cooperation along the border - Socio-economic and cultural crossborder ties - Transnational identities