The Impossible Craft of Nation-Building in Postcolonial Cameroon
Fonkoué uses Cameroon as a point of reference to explore the arduous path of nation-building in postcolonial Africa. Placing colonial heritage at the center of his investigation, he contends that insofar as the nascent state is heir to the colonial state, it has been, from its inception, ill equipped and fundamentally unable to forge a national sentiment, foster a national community and be the catalyst for development that it set out to be. Analyzing the impasse of nation-building in the aftermath of colonization, Fonkoué argues that despite the recent commemorations of half a century of independence across the continent, nation-building still does not seem to have a compass. Drawing on history, development studies and theories of institutions, he concludes that when the original project of nation-building runs aground the state turns inward and becomes an end in itself.