Secessionism in African Politics

Aspiration, Grievance, Performance, Disenchantment

  • Lotje de Vries
  • Pierre Englebert
  • Mareike Schomerus

Part of the Palgrave Series in African Borderlands Studies book series (PSABS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Mareike Schomerus, Pierre Englebert, Lotje de Vries
    Pages 1-20
  3. Aspiration: Dreams of Independence

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 21-21
    2. Baz Lecocq, Georg Klute
      Pages 23-57
    3. Piet Konings, Francis B. Nyamnjoh
      Pages 59-89
  4. Grievance: Postcolonial Confusion

  5. Performance: Secessionism as Politics by Other Means

  6. Disenchantment: The Aftermath of Success

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 393-393
    2. Mareike Schomerus, Lotje de Vries
      Pages 423-454
  7. Heather Byrne, Pierre Englebert
    Pages 455-488
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 489-501

About this book


Secessionism perseveres as a complex political phenomenon in Africa, yet often a more in-depth analysis is overshadowed by the aspirational simplicity of pursuing a new state. Using historical and contemporary approaches, this edited volume offers the most exhaustive collection of empirical studies of African secessionism to date. The respected expert contributors put salient and lesser known cases into comparative perspective, covering Biafra, Katanga, Eritrea and South Sudan alongside Barotseland, Cabinda, and the Comoros, among others. Suggesting that African secessionism can be understood through the categories of aspiration, grievance, performance, and disenchantment, the book's analytical framework promises to be a building block for future studies of the topic. 


Secessionist movements have adapted their strategies Secessionism in Africa after South Sudan's independence Secessionism that reproduces post-colonial norms The legal evolution of secessionism in Africa Fundamental challenges to the post-colonial African order African Politics

Editors and affiliations

  • Lotje de Vries
    • 1
  • Pierre Englebert
    • 2
  • Mareike Schomerus
    • 3
  1. 1.Wageningen University & ResearchDe BiltThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Pomona CollegeClaremont, CAUSA
  3. 3.Overseas Development InstituteLondonUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information