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Daga, Moudwe and Gallagher, Julia (2024) ''Speaking proper French': citizen bids for state recognition in Chad and Côte d’Ivoire.' Global Discourse, 14 (1). pp. 79-95.

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Theories of international recognition posit that states’ identities are formed through dialogical relations with other states. However, they often overlook the ways in which weaker states’ struggles, constrained within the languages of the powerful, produce misrecognition and inhibit identity formation. This is the experience of many post-colonial francophone African states whose search for international recognition has been inhibited by their special relationship with France, their former coloniser. This article shows how such struggles for recognition can fail. It draws on two examples of francophone African countries, showing how their search for recognition sprung from the misrecognition of colonial experiences. Each has made explicit attempts to attract richer forms of state recognition through purposive acts but has continued to do so within post-colonial conditions. Using citizens’ understandings of these struggles, the article explores what drove them, how they manifested and how they unravelled. It draws on Frantz Fanon’s account of misrecognition, making a novel interpretation based on his concept of ‘speaking proper French’, or how experiences of ‘identity alienation’ can only produce further misrecognition.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Fanon; misrecognition; Chad; Côte d’Ivoire
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
ISSN: 20437897
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2024 10:18
Funders: European Union

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