Sociocultural encounters in geography: Borders, borderlands, grassroots non-state actors and the Southern African regional integration project

Chris Nshimbi's picture
Call for Papers
March 31, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Area Studies, Geography, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Social Sciences, Political Science

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?


Please follow the Congress website link below to register and submit your abstract (200-250 words). On the Abstract Submission page your “Intended Session” will be listed under Political Geography. Check the “Autochthony, Allochthony and Belonging: Migration, Xenophobia and Social Cohesion in the Southern African Region” box to proceed with your submission.


Deadline for Abstract Submission: 31 March 2016

Notification of Acceptance: 30 April 2016

Deadline for Early bird Registration: 15 May 2016

Contact Info: 

Dr. Christopher C. Nshimbi

Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn)

Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria



Dr. Inocent Moyo

Department of Geography

UNISA, Florida Campus