Review from ROAPE Volume 8 Number 22
L'Etat au Cameroun (Bayart)
A breath of fresh air is to be felt in this book by Bayart on Cameroun. For one thing, the author, a political scientist, has welcomed ideas from sociology and anthropology (although less from economics). But in addition he offers us a new point of view on the politics of black Africa and an original and lively style of analysis. One can, of course, find in his book the headings of a classic monograph: presidentialism, the party, the state apparatus, the chronology of political life and its conflicts. But without failing into theoreticism (neo-functionalism or Marxism), Bayart takes seriously the construction of hegemonic power taking place in Cameroun and is careful not to reduce the process to the establishment of a repressive police state.