248 pages | 12 B/W Illus.
This book interrogates the validity of longstanding claims that Gambians and Senegalese are "one" people in two countries and explores how that claim intersects with the politics and development needs of the two countries. Half a century after independence, proponents of Senegambian unification continue to campaign on the basis of the long standing social, cultural and religious ties between Africa's smallest country, The Gambia, and Senegal, the much larger country which almost entirely encircles it. The border between the two former British and French colonies remains one of the starkest examples of colonial geographical bartering, and it continues to serve a dual function as a bridge and a barrier in the social, political and economic relations of the two countries.
The book investigates how the two states are constantly pulled between impulses of cooperation and de-escalation, and a competitive intimacy that disregards kinship ties and re-activates tensions. In particular, the book shows how these interstate dynamics play out across the border itself, where indigenous ideas of relatedness are reflected in the cross-border transport and trade sectors, and in the religious networks that straddle the two countries.
This book's skilful exploration of intersecting macro-level and micro-level relations in the Senegambia region will be of interest to scholars of African politics, regional studies, international development, and border studies.
1. The Politics of Senegambian Kinship Discourses
2. The Political and Economic Context of the Gambia-Senegal Border
3. Transport, Cross-Border Practices and Interstate Political Relations
4. Politics and the Disintegration of the Common Transport Newtwork, 2000-2015
5. Tactics for Survival: Jakarta, Civil Society and the Media
6. Cross-Border Trade and the Gambia-Senegal Relations
7. Senegambia's Talibee Networks, the State and Cross-Border Exchange
Routledge Borderlands Studies
Borderlands are spaces of transition between cultures, societies and states. Often, like in the case of the US and Mexico, they are understood as static territorial lines and buffer zones, subservient to the development of states and state territories. However, borderlands can also be fluid and ambiguous spaces, moulded by processes of economic and political integration or shifting geopolitical dividing lines. Moreover, borderlands cultures can be found far from borders, in cities, multicultural neighbourhoods and diasporic communities. They also exist as both future-oriented geographical imaginations and imaginaries with profound historical roots. Today, globalisation, integration and new transnational forms of communication change the complex interrelationships between state, society, space and borders. Consequently, borderlands become more and more places in their own right, reflecting broader supranational patterns of political, economic and social change.
With this series we encourage inter- and multidisciplinary investigation on borders and borderlands throughout the world. We engage with the political, social and historical richness of borderlands, reflecting their unique (geo)political and cultural significance in contexts of colonial rule, nation-building and integration. The Series will explore, among other things, shifting social and political relations and place-related identities that emerge in borderlands, as well as cross-border interaction and the historical memories of every-day life at borders. With this series, we will both contribute to the rich tradition of North American and European borderlands studies and provide a forum for new growing interest in research on borderlands in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
To submit proposals, please contact the series editors, or Routledge’s Development Studies Editor, Helena Hurd (Helena.Hurd@tandf.co.uk).
James W. Scott, Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland
Ilkka Liikanen, Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland