International Boundaries and “Split Personalities”: The Experience of the Boki Ethnic Nationality in the Cross River Region and South West Region of Cameroon
AbstractThe paper submits that international boundaries, have divided not only kith and kin but cultural coherent areas, natural regions and the sea bed, thus, placing them in one or two states. International boundaries in the perception of state-centric scholars are intended to function as barriers or limits of their states administrative and jurisdictional competence, thereby conforming to the classical attributes of the nationstate, a product of the 19th Century Nationalism in Europe. This study of the Boke, splintered by the 1913 Anglo-German boundary, utilized the micro or grassroots levels of analysis. It is argued that comparative border studies underscore certain
patterns of “universalism” that can be applied to the behavioural pattern or
borderlanders. In spite of this universalism, it is indicated that European boundaries are being decomposed into bridges of co-operation and development as opposed to their earlier perception as barriers. The study concludes by way of policy recommendations that Nigeria – Cameroon stakeholders should imbibe this new thinking, and embark on transborder regionalism in order to develop their borderlanders and reverse the status of the border from its conflictual litigation profile to bridges of co-operation for integration and development.
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