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Elite Associations and the Politics of Belonging in Cameroon

Francis Nyamnjoh and Michael Rowlands
Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Vol. 68, No. 3, The Politics of Primary Patriotism (1998), pp. 320-337
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1161252
Page Count: 18
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Elite Associations and the Politics of Belonging in Cameroon
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Abstract

The development of elite associations has been a consequence of the growth of multi-partyism and the weakening of authoritarian state control in Cameroon in the 1990s. The attachment of electoral votes and rights of citizenship to belonging to ethnicised regions has encouraged the formal distinction between 'natives' and 'strangers' in the creation of a politics of belonging. The article argues that this development has also led to the replacement of political parties at the local level by ethnicised elite associations as prime movers in regional and national politics./Le développement des associations élitaires est l'une des conséquences de la croissance du pluripartisme et de l'érosion du pouvoir étatique autoritaire au Cameroun dans les années 90. L'attachement des votes électoraux et des droits des citoyens à faire partie de régions ethnicisées a encouragé la distinction officielle entre les "natifs" et les "étrangers" dans la création d'une politique d'appartenance. Cet article suggère que les associations élitaires ethnicisées se sont ainsi substituées aux partis politiques au niveau local en tant que force motrice de la politique régionale et nationale.

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