By Karin Dokken (auth.)
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Extra resources for African Security Politics Redefined
Economic and political resources, wealth, and political power can be exchanged freely (Médard 1996). The public offices are turned into the private property of the higher-ranking employees. People working for the state use their position to accumulate wealth—seeking power and seeking wealth are two sides of the same coin. ). Another 36 AFRICAN SECURITY POLITICS REDEFINED important feature of the neopatrimonial state is its lack of institutionalization, which creates transnational relations. Transnationalism is a kind of interaction across international borders between both state and nonstate actors.
For the state system in Africa, however, the colonization of the continent and the negotiations between the colonizers are very much to blame. Before the colonization of Africa, it was hardly possible to speak about a system of states on the continent as we know it today. Small insignificant kingdoms and larger wealthier kingdoms, such as the Asante in today’s Ghana, were the typical form of power units. When the European imperialist powers started their rivalries in Africa, this system changed radically.
Undoubtedly, the colonial period led to extensive changes all over the African continent. However, the degree of change has been misjudged. Moreover, the various colonial powers had different practices for governing their colonies. The British way, that is, indirect rule through already established traditional authorities, obviously had less effect concerning changes in the continent than the French way, that is, direct rule and a much larger degree of physical presence by the French themselves.