2020 EthicsLab Conference

EthicsLab Conference – December 14-15, 2020
UCAC Campus – Yaoundé (Nkolbisson)

Rethinking the Cameroonian State from the Ethnic Paradigm?

This conference will examine various aspects of the challenges posed by the emergence or construction of an authentic Cameroonian state that takes the ethnic paradigm seriously. Without limiting ourselves to this, we welcome contributions or proposals that will explore the following three areas:


Ethnology: How to define notions like family, clan, tribe, ethnicity and are there any fundamental distinctions or differences between these notions? Is ethnicity an essentially cultural concept? Is ethnicity a political concept?
History: How were the peoples residing in present-day Cameroonian territory organized politically? What does a brief history of the state in Cameroon reveal? From a historical point of view, what are the distinctions that exist between different modes of political organization such as chiefdom, sultanate, ‘lamida’, empire, state, etc.?
Political theory/philosophy: Is there a major normative distinction between the Cameroonian state and the state in Cameroon? Isn’t the form of political organization that the state represents normatively obsolete and sociologically unsuitable for the Cameroonian context? Is ethnicity necessarily the enemy of the state? Is the state the ultimate form of political organization? Should we rethink statehood or get rid of the state altogether and invent a new form of political organization that reflects the sociological reality of Cameroon?


Proposals of 1000 characters maximum, in French or English, should be sent to thierry.ngosso@unisg.ch; belpiger@yahoo.fr; ethicslab@ucac-icy.net by December 2, 2020 at the latest. Contributors of selected proposals will be notified by December 4, 2020 at the latest. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, this call is open exclusively to researchers currently residing in Cameroon. Depending on our budget, in addition to offering lunch and dinner to all contributors of selected proposals, we may cover the transportation costs of those not residing in Yaoundé and in some cases, we will provide accommodation for those residing at more than 300km from Yaoundé.

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