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L&C Talk door Eric Elong Ebolo: “International Relations Theories, Foreign Policy-Making and the Framing of Cameroon-Nigeria Border Policy” (06/03/2020)

Op 6 maart 2020 verzorgde doctorandus Eric Elong Ebolo een Law & Criminology Talk over “International Relations Theories, Foreign Policy-Making and the Framing of the Cameroon-Nigeria Border Policy”. Tijdens deze lezing ging hij o.a. in op de belangrijkste redenen voor de vastgelopen grensonderhandelingen en het geschil over het Bakassi-schiereiland, die hij probeert te verklaren aan de hand van theorieën inzake internationale betrekkingen en de invloed ervan op het buitenlandse grensbeleid van Nigeria en Kameroen.

Eric Elong Ebolo is doctoraatsonderzoeker onder de supervisie van prof. dr. Stefaan Smis (VUB/University of Westminster) en prof. emeritus Anthony Ijaola ASIWAJU (University of Lagos/University of Ibadan/African Regional Institute).

Een samenvatting van zijn presentatie vindt u hieronder:

This study explores the primary reasons for the stalled border negotiations and dispute over the Bakassi Peninsula by examining international relations theories on state behaviour and how it affected Nigeria-Cameroon foreign policymaking concerning the border. Furthermore, the work contextualises these factors within a broader framework on national, security, and defence interests of the states and how they affect their border relations. We begin from a general perspective on realist, liberalist, and constructivist approaches to state behaviour. We identify the domestic environment of Cameroon and Nigeria and how they affect their border relations with specific emphasis on Bakassi. To properly articulate the national and defence interests of the two countries, we make an intersection between the domestic characteristics and historical origins of the two states and how they influence their attitude on the Bakassi Peninsula dispute.

Moreover, we analyse the various attempts by the two states to impose their authority and consolidate control over the Peninsula which gradually increased the tensions. We examine the 1981 incident, which almost led to a war between Nigeria and Cameroon. The study analyses the scope of the 1981 crisis, diplomatic intrigues, and how it was resolved peacefully. Furthermore, we analyse the policy of Nigeria and Cameroon towards the Bakassi Peninsula especially after the 1981 imbroglio and how they heightened tensions between the two countries and the former’s decision to occupy the Peninsula in 1994. The study contends that the constant friction between the two countries over their border was precipitated by the inherent nature of the domestic environment of the countries in question: the nature of colonial borders and the post-independence political configuration of the states. 



Doctorandus Eric Elong Ebolo