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'Belmopan. A New Capital for a New Nation' State, Nation and Ethnicity at the Time of Independence

Abstract : In Belize, a project for building a new capital emerged in the early 1960s, just after the ravages of Hurricane Hattie, which had destroyed much of the colonial capital, Belize City. According to the common narrative, Belmopan was the answer to a natural threat. But this article will show that it was also a political strategy, intended to give the country a new, modern face, the symbol of a young nation on the road to independence (1981). One of the issues of this post-colonial state is the definition of a national ‘us’ and the place of ethnic groups inherited from the British colonial administration’s policy of ‘divide and rule’. The article shows that the politicisation of ethnicity entails neither its integration in the state nor its institutionalisation by the parties, but rather the emergence of ‘citizenship from below’.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02546452
Contributor : Elisabeth Cunin <>
Submitted on : Monday, April 27, 2020 - 3:28:05 AM
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Elisabeth Cunin. 'Belmopan. A New Capital for a New Nation' State, Nation and Ethnicity at the Time of Independence. Bulletin of Latin American Research, Wiley, 2019, ⟨10.1111/blar.13021⟩. ⟨halshs-02546452⟩

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