Laboratoire de Recherches sur les Cultures Anglophones, UMR 8225


Université Paris Diderot- uspc


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Cameroon and the decolonisation of diplomacy

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Cameroon and the decolonisation of diplomacy : African perspectives on international relations

Université Paris Diderot – 21 and 22 June 2018
Amphithéâtre Turing – Bâtiment Sophie Germain
Rue Albert Einstein – 75013 Paris

Organised by LARCA (Laboratoire de recherches sur les cultures anglophones – UMR 8225), Paris Diderot and the University of Douala

While Cameroon promotes official bilingualism and is involved in multiple multilateral diplomatic networks – including the Commonwealth of Nations and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie – it is often strikingly absent from major studies of African international relations, where Nigeria, South Africa and Senegal often have pride of place. And yet Cameroon, as a diplomatic space and in the variety of its governmental and non- governmental actors, offers significant insights into the stakes, possibilities and limits of the transformation of diplomatic conceptions and practices in the 21st century.

This conference therefore aims to study the role of diplomacy in the decolonisation processes in Africa, through the case of Cameroon. One of the major objectives of this conference is to interrogate the very relevance of the ‘Franco-British’ and ‘anglophone/francophone’ prisms, and to examine their possible, and even necessary, relativity.

The papers selected for this conference define, specify or question ‘Franco-British’ and ‘anglophone/francophone’ phenomena in Cameroonian diplomacy and in diplomatic relations in Cameroon – in their practical manifestations as well as in their use as tools or categories of analysis. Participants will discuss the following :

  • ‘Franco-British’ realities and constructions, exchanges and phenomena during the mandate and trusteeship periods in Cameroon
  • the means, scope and impact of the varied forms of resistance to the very notion of a ‘Franco-British’ heritage (from the more pragmatic resistance to theoretical and conceptual challenges)
  • the reassessment of Cameroon’s place in Franco-African networks
  • relations with multilateral diplomatic organisations, including the Commonwealth, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the United Nations Organisation
  • relations (old and new) with other important actors, including Nigeria, China and the United States
  • the influence of the fight against extremism, notably Boko Haram, in Cameroon’s international relations
  • the role and impact of memory and memorialisation processes in international relations
  • linguistic constraints, the actors and activities related to translation and interpreting, and the new, possible or desirable languages of contemporary international relations
  • the role of entrepreneurs and companies in the transformation of diplomacy in Cameroon

Several of the papers study the above questions from the perspective of the longue durée of African diplomatic history, reassessing the conceptual and practical place of the European empires.

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