Smugglers, Secessionists, and Loyal Citizens on the Ghana-Togo Frontier — 2003

The Life of the Borderlands since 1914

By Paul Nugent

"This book is a major contribution to Ghanaian historiography and African boundary studies, especially in its detailed study of land ownership and disputes across colonial boundaries. It presents one of the most fascinating discussions of smuggling that I have read, as the Ghana-Togo border pulsates with life."

Journal of African History

The first integrated history of the Ghana-Togo borderlands, Smugglers, Secessionists, and Loyal Citizens on the Ghana-Togo Frontier challenges the conventional wisdom that the current border is an arbitrary European construct, resisted by Ewe irredentism.

Paul Nugent contends that whatever the origins of partition, border peoples quickly became knowing and active participants in the shaping of this international boundary. The study itself straddles the conventional divide between social and political history and offers a reconstruction of a long-range history of smuggling and a reappraisal of Ewe identity.

Addressing topics such as imperialism, cocoa, the Customs Preventive Service, Christianity, and Ewe unification, this study will be of interest to scholars and to others concerned with issues of criminality, identity, and the state.


Paul Nugent is Senior Lecturer in African History at Edinburgh University.

Cover of 'Smugglers, Secessionists, and Loyal Citizens on the Ghana-Togo Frontier'

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