Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 1995


In Copyright


This article questions the legitimacy of the African state and the imperial cartography on which it is based. It argues that African states are conceptually faulty because they are the crude and thoughtless handiworks of European colonial powers. It is the artificiality of the African state that has been responsible for its failure to cohere into a nation that is viable. The piece argues for geographic and normative re-articulation of the African state - by smashing the current states - to endow them with moral, political, and legal legitimacy. It concludes that democratic entities are unlikely to develop where pre-colonial nations and peoples find no rationale in the imposed state.

Publication Title

Michigan Journal of International Law

First Page


Last Page


Available for download on Tuesday, January 12, 2100