Borders and Borderlands as Resources in the Horn of Africa

Borders and Borderlands as Resources in the Horn of Africa

Edited by Dereje Feyissa, Markus Virgil Hoehne


James Currey



Borders offer opportunities as well as restrictions, and in the Horn of Africa they are used as economic, political, identity and status resources by borderland peoples.
State borders are more than barriers. They structure social, economic and political spaces and as such provide opportunities as well as obstacles for the communities straddling both sides of the border. This book deals with the conduits and opportunities of state borders in the Horn of Africa, and investigates how the people living there exploit state borders through various strategies.
Using a micro level perspective, the case studies, which include the Horn and Eastern Africa, particularly the borders of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, focus on opportunities, highlight the agency of the borderlanders, and acknowledge the permeability but consequentiality of the borders.

DEREJE FEYISSA, Max Planck Institute of Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany; MARKUS VIRGIL HOEHNE, Max Planck Institute of Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781846158100), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


7 line illustrations
224 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
Eastern Africa Series
Paperback, 9781847011336, September 2015
Hardback, 9781847010186, June 2010
Library eBook
James Currey
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Table of Contents

Preface by Gunther Schlee - Günther Schlee
Preface by the Editors
State Borders & Borderlands as Resources: An Analytical Framework - Dereje Feyissa and Markus Virgil Hoehne
More State than the State? The Anywaa's Call for the Rigidification of the Ethio-Sudanese Border - Dereje Feyissa
Making Use of the Kin Beyond the International Border: Inter-ethnic Relations along the Ethio-Kenyan Border - Fekadu Adugna
The Tigrinnya-speakers across the Borders: Discourses of Unity & Separation in Ethnohistorical Context - Wolbert G.C. Smidt
Trans-Border Political Alliance in the Horn of Africa: The Case of the Afar-Issa Conflict - Yasin Mohammed Yasin
People & Politics along and across the Somaliland-Puntland Border - Markus Virgil Hoehne
The Ethiopian-British Somaliland Boundary - Cedric Barnes
The Opportunistic Economies of the Kenya-Somali Borderland in Historical Perspective - Lee Cassanelli
Magendo & Survivalism: Babukusu-Bagisu Relations & Economic Ingenuity on the Kenya-Uganda Border 1962-80 - Peter Wafula Wekesa
Can Boundaries Not Border on One Another? The Zigula (Somali Bantu) between Somalia & Tanzania - Francesca Declich
Conclusion: Putting Back the Bigger Picture - Christopher Clapham


The book bears the stamp of unmistakable originality in the nine constituent substantive essays on the various strategies by which borderland communities...explore and exploit the border in their diverse contexts and situations not just to survive but even to flourish economically, socially, culturally and politically. AFRICA REVIEW OF BOOKS

A rich and focused volume [which] opens up a crucial debate that nobody interested in African political and social issues can ignore. JOURNAL OF MODERN AFRICAN STUDIES

This insightful new book looks at borders and borderlands from a quite different perspective. In a series of fascinating case-studies, it provides insights into the experience of people living in the borderlands of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Sudan. [...] For those seeking to engage with the politics of the Horn of Africa, it is essential to grasp the extraordinary complexity of identity and identity choices. This collection of case-studies, creatively combining the insights of social anthropologists, political scientists and historians, makes a real contribution to such an understanding. INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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