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Federalism in Africa in Comparative Perspective

Federalism is arguably one of the less explored subjects in African political studies. Some may argue that the poor run of the system of government on the continent, or its outright unworkability and failure in some cases, or even, the fact that only a few countries are formally federal, justifies the failure of federalism to attract mainstream attention in comparison to presumably more compelling issues of development and governance. The evidence however suggests that the state of federal scholarship belies the relevance and incidence of what may be broadly regarded as the federal solution on the continent, which is at once political, social, economic and legal-constitutional. It may very well be that the absence of African perspectives of federalism based on concrete analyses of concrete situations is one of the reasons for its chequered fortunes on the continent. It is this against this background that I plan as a STIAS fellow to consolidate the works I have done for over three decades on federalism in Africa by writing a full-length book manuscript on Federalism in Africa in Comparative Perspective that will hopefully become a major reference point for federalism scholarship and practice on the continent.


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Is any information on this page incorrect or outdated? Please notify Ms. Nel-Mari Loock at [email protected].