Dialectics of Sovereignty, Self-Determination and Violent Strategy in Africa

  • Dejo Olowu


Are Africa’s incessant disputes arising from conflicting claims to self-determination inherently of a zero-sum nature, or can they be resolved? If the latter, how? What factors drive violent conflicts within the national sphere? Which sorts of institutional arrangements might be able to anchor peace settlements? How have Africa’s recurrent experiences in armed struggles, insurgencies and secessionist bids conflated the historical understandings of statehood, sovereignty and self-determination? Can Africa draw useful comparative lessons from the experience of peace processes that have sought or seek to craft solutions to post-colonial conflicts in diverse parts of the contemporary world? What roles can international actors—influential and/or interested foreign states, regional alliances of states, multilateral institutions—play in such processes and their outcomes? This paper examines the undercurrents of violent disputes over statehood, sovereignty and self-determination in contemporary Africa and probes the prospects of moving from conflict to peace through open-mindedness and compromise.


Statehood Sovereignty Legitimacy Self-determination Violent conflicts 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dejo Olowu
    • 1
  1. 1.School of LawAmerican University of NigeriaYolaNigeria

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