chapter  6
States, boundaries, and regional collapse in Sub-Saharan Africa
ByJames J. Hentz, Thomas Blevins
Pages 10

The problem with the analytical cartography of Africa is that scholars and policy makers use only one set of maps, those that are based on the blueprints of the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, which designed the modern African state system. The literature on failed states, and much of the antecedent literature, tends to focus on the states themselves and their patrimonial roots; leading to an analytical bias that privileges explanations of state collapse from the inside out. A second and essential dimension of collapse, regional instability – collapse from the outside in – is largely ignored.