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Introduction: from Empiricism to Theory in African Border Studies

David Coplan


This special issue represents a small milestone in the crossing of Africa into the sovereign territory of border studies. In June 2007, a first step in this direction was taken at the workshop on “African Borderlands Research: Emerging Agendas and Critical Reflections” at the African Studies Centre of the University of Edinburgh. There, the “African Borderland Research Network” ABORNE ( was founded by fifteen participants as an interdisciplinary network of European, American and African scholars who seek to integrate history, anthropology, development, migration, and refugee studies in a broad field of African border research. The publication of this set of articles by ABORNE members in such a distinguished journal in the field represents both a recognition and a product of progress since then.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229