State of a Union
191 Pages
English
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State of a Union

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191 Pages
English

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The bicultural polity of Cameroon has become problematic over the years. In addition to the increasing marginalization experienced by its English speaking component in many domains (politics, administration, economy, culture), it is facing mounting inequality and disarray despite the nation-building aspirations at reunification in 1961. This book examines the very basis of the union crisis by tracing the causes to the asymmetrical nature of negotiations between the contracting partners � the founding fathers of the union � and the politics of guile and force that has characterized the regimes in Yaound�. From a federal model that takes the equality of the contracting parties as a given, the polity has developed into an ethno-regional patchwork designed by its architects to be essentially unequal in nature. Consequently, the segmented Anglophone community can exist only in contradiction within itself. They have been worked into the regime�s statecraft of consciously maintaining or re-activating ethnic boundaries inherited from colonialism. An analysis of the cultural and linguistic dimension of the union shows contrasting drives between the assimilation/attempts to dominate by the French-speaking component and resistance by Anglophones. The analyses further show the projected harmonization and rollback by the State, the creative blends and the crystallization around continuing or reproduced colonial experiences, a fierce competition between elites with a drive to impose the culture of the demographically dominant and a refusal to accept the idea of a linguistic minority. The contentious experience, Yenshu Vubo argues, can still be remedied by reforms in a politics of possibilities.These reforms must be ready to re-examine the constitutional basis of the union by revisiting the often dismissed question of the form of the state defined as �one and indivisible� (a new federal architecture as requested by several political voices). Institutions should be restructured to attend to diversity issues and essential linguistic differences while consolidating any strategic gains of the union such as the creative blends and the acceptance of specifi cities of each community, statutory equality of citizenship and the essential clauses of the fi rst federation.

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Published 29 February 2012
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EAN13 9789956727964
Language English
Document size 2 MB

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STATE OF A UNION. STATE OF AUNION The Half Century of Cameroon’s Bicultural Experience
The Half Century of Cameroon’s Bicultural Experience
Emmanuel Yenshu Vubo Safety Area:All Text, Logos & Barcode should remain inside the Pink Dotted Lines Bleed Area:All Backgrounds should extend to, but not past, the Blue Dotted Lines
State of a Union
The Half Century of Cameroon’s Bicultural Experience
Emmanuel Yenshu Vubo
Langaa Research & Publishing CIG Mankon, Bamenda
Publisher: LangaaRPCIG Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Langaagrp@gmail.com www.langaa-rpcig.net
Distributed in and outside N. America by African Books Collective orders@africanbookscollective.com www.africanbookcollective.com
ISBN: 9956-726-71-0
©Emmanuel Yenshu Vubo 2012
DISCLAIMER All views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Langaa RPCIG.
In memory of late Joseph Temngah and late Etienne Njiki Bikoi, University friends (who incidentally died at the same period) with whom we shared some of these ideas and ideals about Cameroon
Table of Contents
Preface………………………………………………………………….. v
Introduction…………………………………………………………….. vii
Chapter 1: Utopia and Disenchantment in the Making of the Bicultural Polity…………………………………………………………………….1
Chapter 2: The Making of Ethnic Frontiers as Statecraft……………….. 33
Chapter 3: Language and the Linguistic Question in the Bicultural Project…………………………………………………………………...53
Chapter 4: Between Assimilation and Roll Back in Harmonization Projects…………………………………………………………………. 79
Chapter 5: Towards the Anthropology of Conviviality and a Politics of Possibilities……………………………………………………………... 105
References……………………………………………………………….145
Appendix I……………………………………………………………... 157
Appendix II……………………………………………………………...165
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Preface
These critical reflections were first put in writing during the weekend of the th th 10 to the 12 of November 2006 in Strasbourg, then expanded upon during my stay of nearly two months in Besançon that covered the rest of November and December of the same year. At that period, I was preparing my pre-professorial qualification, theHabilitation à Diriger des Recherches (HDR). The initial sketch was elaborated in parallel with theHabilitationand gradually developed into a post- HDR project as I discussed some of the issues with my tutor Professor Gilles Ferréol. This was in order as candidates in this research qualification have to analyze then own work but also to indicate projects on-going or for the future. With the completion of this work and its publication I have lived up to the promises that I made in the last but one chapter of my dissertation. This work was also presented as a research project for funding and obtained a support grant within the Faculty Social and Management Sciences Research Grant Scheme of the University of Buea for 2008 to enable me continue and complete the research whose results are presented here. As such, this work is a natural conclusion of a tradition that I was initiated into within the French system of higher education professorships but which has had support from within the university where I work. I wish to thank my HDR tutor, Professor Gill Ferréol, for the initial encouragement and support to embark on this project. I also wish to express my gratitude to the Faculty which made the funds available. Finally, I wish to acknowledge the numerous persons –all good-willed Cameroonians - with whom I have discussed these ideas over the years and who are just too many to enumerate here. I have dedicated the book to two friends who were the first person with whom I discussed the issues raised here. One was an Anglophone who taught in a Francophone university and the other was a Francophone with similar fortunes as he taught in an Anglophone university. This why this work is dedicated to their memory and what they symbolized as I have said of the first in the address during his posthumous honours reproduced in the appendix. Special mention will go to Mr Fred Ekane who painstakingly typed most of the manuscripts.
nd Buea, Wednesday, 2 November 2011. v
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