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Title: Discourses of regionalism: integration; cooperation and institutional politics as practices of the state in Central Africa
Author: Mbuh, Cosmas
ISNI:       0000 0001 3622 2869
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 2008
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The thesis is concerned with the political practices of regional cooperation and integration in Central Africa. It examines how state interests shape processes of cooperation through Central Africa's regional organizations, and how claims about regional integration work in tum to shape state interests. Working on an initial hypothesis that regional interdependence and external actor's interests or preferences determine how cooperation -is institutionalised in Central Africa, it seeks to develop· an analytical 'framework to investigate the genesis and institutions of the various Central African organisations, Central Africa's response to cooperation in the region, and the critical role of external actors in contributing to changing regional interstate relations in Central Africa. More precisely, the thesis explores these dynamics in order to ascertain the paradoxical ways' in which claims about the regional character of Central Mrica also work as a practice of states so as to enhance the legitimacy of state elites, thereby undermining the possibility of any regional unity. Although the rhetoric of regionalism suggests a 'progressive' agenda that promises to enhance the interest of the people, it is a rhetoric that nevertheless legitimizes practices that systematically undermine the interests of the people. This paradox-is initially examined in broad historical perspective, especially in relation to the forms of rule in the colonial period. However, most of the thesis is concerned with how claims about regionalism have worked since narratives about the ~ legitimacy of colonial rule have given way to narratives about development and globalisation. It is concerned especially with the legacy of European models of integration, with the dynamics of the West Mrican Economic and Monetary Union, with the experiences of CEMAC, with emerging patterns of networking, with the structural form of specific institutions and with the role of international and non-governmental agencies. While much has changed since the process of decolonisation began in the 1960s, the deployment of claims about the region continues to legitimise elitist forms of gove~ent, and thus increases antagonisms between the elites and the people who are excluded from any meaningful political participation. Contrary to expectations generated by European models, claims about regionalism in Central Africa work precisely to affIrm forms of political rule that are increasingly regressive.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Keele University, 2008 Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available