Why Redraw the Map of Africa: A Moral and Legal Inquiry

The author argues in this Article that the post-colonial state, the uncritical successor of the colonial state, is doomed because it lacks basic moral legitimacy. Its normative and territorial construction on the African colonial state, itself a legal and moral nullity, is the fundamental reason for its failure. The author argues that, at independence, the West decolonized the colonial state, not the African peoples subject to it. In other words, the right to self-determination was exercised not by the victims of colonization but their victimizers, the elites who control the international state system.