The federation of the previously British and French Cameroons has, since 1961, tried to integrate a highly fragmented, bilingual society in which nearly every social cleavage found in Africa was present, including the complication of disparate colonial legacies.
Professor Johnson describes the impact of these different colonial legacies on the traditional cultural patterns of Cameroon, attempting to explain the rise of the movement for political reunion among them. He considers the character of the federal union and the Cameroonian leaders' conception of federalism in the light of other experiences with federalism (e.g. the early United States). His conclusions involve the potential importance and limitations of federalism for the new Africa, the role and impact of political rebellion and violence, and the important conceptual distinctions that should be made between processes of political integration and nation-building.
Originally published in 1970.
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