African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 382


Disciplinary regime, neo-liberal bio-power and alienation of national sovereignty in Cameroon: Political economy of the imprisoned body

Alfred Ndi    
University of Yaounde I, Ecole Normale Supérieur Bambili-Bamenda, Republic of Cameroon. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 22 September 2009
  •  Published: 30 November 2009


This study found out that Cameroon’s national sovereignty and prospects of development were alienated because globalization came to most African countries in the 1980s as a form of capitalist power with new norms that humanized disciplinary institutions in the country. It invaded all the vital sectors of the population’s life and rendered the state apparatus deviant. This power system then enabled proponents of the free market in the west to deploy expansionist strategies of neoliberal capitalism such as structural adjustment programmes, deregulation, privatization, good governance, poverty eradication papers and so on. Global bio-power was thus crafted on claims of provision of social welfare and means of productivity of the people and their safety, as against state mechanisms of mutilation and surveillance of the body. It was more sensitive to the individual’s perspective, his human rights, rehabilitation and new knowledge systems of normalization. Global power decentralized and pluralized the sources of its institutional knowledge so that no single state authority could have autonomous and self-regulating authority. It co-operated with the Cameroonian subject instead of contesting his standpoint. It created new ‘scapes, which appeared to empower society while at the same time, they merely served to expand the legitimacy of neoliberal capitalism. The paper ends with three suggested strategic policies to contain the ill-effects of globalization.


Key words: Disciplinary regime, globalization, bio-power, alienation of sovereignty, underdevelopment, neoliberal capitalism, body.