What Came First, The Nation or the State? Political Process in the Comoro Islands

  title={What Came First, The Nation or the State? Political Process in the Comoro Islands},
  author={Iain Walker},
  pages={582 - 605}
  • I. Walker
  • Published 1 November 2007
  • Sociology
  • Africa
Abstract The widespread failure of the post-colonial state in Africa is often attributed to a lack of social and cultural unity, and hence of national identity, in the territories in question. In Europe the state has historically been conceptualized as coterminous with the nation, an apparently ‘natural’ cultural unit that allowed for subsequent political cohesion and the avoidance of ethnic conflict. In Africa the concept (and the reality) of the nation is often absent and this is sometimes… Expand
Origins and Persistence of Federalism and Decentralization in Microstates
Like their larger counterparts, even the smallest states in the world have delegated powers and competences to subnational units. The present article aims to examine why these microstates, which areExpand
African exceptions: democratic development in small island states
Small island states are much more likely to have democratic regimes than large continental states. This trend also holds across Africa, where the five island states with populations of 1.5 million orExpand
An exploratory study of constitutional design in three island states: Seychelles, Comoros, and Mauritius
ABSTRACT This article explores the effects of constitutional design on conflict management and democratisation outcomes in three African island states: Seychelles, Comoros, and Mauritius. As anExpand
The Comoros and the crisis of building a national state
This article gives an overview of the Comoro Islands and the struggle and obstacles in building a unified nation‐state. This often‐overlooked member of the Arab League has been rocked by no fewerExpand
A Hidden Catastrophe: Irregular Migration within the Comoros Archipelago
The decision by France to definitively incorporate Mayotte as part of its sovereign territory has had a negative impact on the Union’s political, security and economic development. The introductionExpand
A state in search of Archipelago
  • Adjimaël Halidi
  • Journal of Historical Archaeology & Anthropological Sciences
  • 2019
Located in Indian Ocean, between Madagascar and Mozambique the Comoros Islands1 (Figure 1) extend over an area of 2034 square kilometers. The state control of the archipelago has always facedExpand
Introduction: Excess and Abjection in the Study of the African State
In his excellent introduction to the volume Civil Society, Public Sphere and Citizenship Dialogues and Perceptions, which he coedited with Helmut Reifeld, Rajeev Bhargava underlined the need to queryExpand
Comoros: The Search for Viability
The Comoros archipelago has had a troubled political history with territorial division at independence and, for the state of Comoros, repeated coups and a recent attempted secession. The articleExpand
Secessionism in Anjouan, Comoros: Internal Dynamics, External Decisions
  • G. Dobler
  • Political Science
  • Secessionism in African Politics
  • 2018
The Comoros, four islands in the Indian Ocean, were a French colony until 1975 when three of the islands gained independence as a joint republic. The fourth island, Mayotte, remained with France andExpand
Comores : colonisation, insularité et imaginaire national
EnglishFaced with difficulties of deployment throughout its administrative territory, the Comorian State has been seeking through various constitutions to promote a development strategy that couldExpand


Refounding the African state and local self-governance: the neglected foundation
  • J. S. Wunsch
  • Sociology
  • The Journal of Modern African Studies
  • 2000
The political revolution of contemporary Africa has so far largely been limited to the centre and to re-establishing the same institutional forms and processes which failed Africa in the 1960s. TheseExpand
Building the State, Making the Nation: The Bases and Limits of State Centralization in “Modern” Peru
Most contemporary discussions of the nature of the state, state-building, and national consciousness formation are based on an oppositional model of state-society relations. In such models,Expand
A Modern History of the Somali: Nation and State in the Horn of Africa
Preface to the Fourth Edition The physical & social setting Before partition The imperial partition: 1860-97 The dervish fight for freedom: 1900-20 Somali unification: the Italian East African empireExpand
Notes on the Difficulty of Studying the State (1977)
The state is not the reality which stands behind the mask of political practice. It is itselfthe mask which prevents our seeing political practice as it is. There is a state-system: a palpable nexusExpand
Violent politics and the politics of violence : the dissolution of the Somali nation-state
Somalia was one of the first states to crumble in the post-cold war era. This article undresses the image of Somalia as the one true nation-state in Africa, arguing that the political economy ofExpand
Knowledge and Practice in Mayotte: Local Discourses of Islam, Sorcery, and Spirit Possession
How might anthropologists understand the cultural basis of knowledge? This is Michael Lambek's task in this detailed and often engrossing study from Mayotte, an island of the Comoro archipelago inExpand
Nation, State, and Territory: Origins, Evolutions, and Relationships
Globalization seems to be making nation-states increasingly irrelevant, yet their number has continued to grow. New nation-states emerged out of the ruins of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia; moreExpand
State and Ethnicity in Botswana and Mauritius: A Democratic Route to Development?
Botswana and Mauritius stand virtually alone among developing countries in having achieved rates of economic development rivalling those of the East Asian NICs, while maintaining democraticExpand
The Invention of Tradition Revisited: The Case of Colonial Africa
As Werner Sollors has remarked, the word ‘invention’ has ‘become a rather popular category in intellectual discourse’. No longer ‘reserved for accounts of technological advances such as theExpand
The state as person in international theory
To say that states are ‘actors’ or ‘persons’ is to attribute to them properties we associate first with human beings – rationality, identities, interests, beliefs, and so on. Such attributionsExpand