The geographical and socio-economic landscapes of the contiguous border areas in Southern African suggest de facto processes of regional integration. The historical, socio-economic and cultural interactions, enhanced by geography, that characterise these borderlands form sub-regions that not only defy border controls but also achieve alternative processes of regional integration. This has not received much scholarly attention and recognition from policy makers. Therefore, this session takes, as its point of departure, the debates around borders, borderlands, sub- and regional integration and aims to interrogate the place of local, grassroots non-State actors and their rich historical, socioeconomic and cultural interactions facilitated by geographic proximity in Southern Africa’s borderlands, in the SADC’s regional integration project. Hence the questions; do “spaces of flows” replace “spaces of places” in Southern Africa’s borderlands? Are economic regions outside formal state organisation likely to emerge in these contiguous border areas? Contrary to top-down approaches to regional integration, the session will explore alternative approaches to regional integration in the SADC and advance perspectives that question current thinking and conceptualizations of regional integration in the Southern African region and in Africa, in general. Several questions shall, therefore, be explored such as: how does the role of grassroots non-State actors in the Southern African region compare with other parts of the world?
Call for Papers
March 31, 2016
Area Studies, Geography, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Social Sciences, Political Science