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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Elite Associations and the Politics of Belonging in Cameroon
Authors:Nyamnjoh, Francis B.ISNI
Rowlands, MichaelISNI
Year:1998
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Volume:68
Issue:3
Pages:320-337
Language:English
Geographic term:Cameroon
Subjects:ethnicity
political elite
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1161252
Abstract:The mobilization of regional elites for political purposes has been a consistent feature of postcolonial politics in Cameroon. In the 1990s this trend has been transformed as elite networks have developed to give political expression to fears of exclusion and conflict stemming from the impact of political liberalization. The consolidation of numerous elite groups into larger regional blocs has increasingly taken an ethnic tone as claims to indigenous origins and hostility to 'strangers' have become part of the rhetoric of exclusion. In order to understand different processes of urban/regional ethnic identification, the authors compare the role of elite associations in two regions of Cameroon; one in the Grassfields (Western Province), characterized by 'chiefly' titles and 'chiefdoms', the other on the coast (South Western Province), distinguished by more diffuse, acephalous polities. The authors argue that instead of the development of multipartyism the trend in Cameroon today is for local regional ethnic politics to compete for 'party' status and access to State resources. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.
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