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Nugent, Paul Christopher (1991) National integration and the vicissitudes of state power in Ghana : The political incorporation of Likpe, a border community, 1945-1986. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This is a study of the processes through which the former Togoland Trust Territory has come to constitute an integral part of modern Ghana. As the section of the country that was most recently appended, the territory has often seemed the most likely candidate for the eruption of separatist tendencies. The comparative weakness of such tendencies, in spite of economic crisis and governmental failure, deserves closer examination. This study adopts an approach which is local in focus (the area being Likpe), but one which endeavours at every stage to link the analysis to unfolding processes at the Regional and national levels. Part One of the thesis deals with the background to, and the trajectory of, the Togoland unification movement which surfaced after 1945. Both the appeal of the movement and its inherent limitations are attributed to the legacy of uneven development bequeathed by a minimalist colonial state. Having presented an overview of the movement, the third Chapter examines the intersection between local politics and the strength of opinion on the unification question in Likpe. The generational differences between the contending parties, which are related to educational indices, help to explain not only the victory of the Convention People's Party, but also the triumph of the integrationist ideal. Furthermore, it is possible to account for the greater receptivity of the Central Togo minorities in the light of the marks left by British administrative policy. Part Two assesses the impact of the deteriorating environment of the 1970s upon political consciousness in the Volta Region. The failure of the secessionist movement is examined, as is the contention that most rural communities preferred simply to retreat from the centre. Particular attention is paid to cross- border smuggling, which has been little studied, and to the political ramifications thereof. This section draws both on extensive interviews amongst the Bakpele, whose experience of these events is most distinctive, as well as on official documentation. Part Three considers the efforts of the Rawlings regime to more closely integrate centre and periphery, whilst returning to a nonstatist model of governance. The revolutionary phase and the subsequent change of direction are both examined through the prism of Likpe. An analysis is made of government efforts to stamp out smuggling with the active cooperation of border communities. The final Chapter evaluates local reactions to the political reform programme, which turned out to be supportive yet at variance with the official perspective. The introductory and concluding Chapters endeavour to tease out the implications of the study for the wider debate concerning the interaction between state and civil society in contemporary Africa.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 14:57

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