What are the outcomes of these circulations, connections and the relations they result from or install? What do they generate that historians can study to make sense of the past and the present? Where do combinations of links, flows and relations take place and create entities that historians can examine? What are the observation platforms from which historians can follow the blurred line between the domestic and the foreign, tell the story of historical actors and processes that wax and wane through and between the territorial units that frame our professional common sense? How can we reconstruct the making and unmaking of interdependencies between these units? A few years ago, political scientists Thomas Callaghy, Robert Latham and Ronald Kassimir provided an answer to these different questions. Proclaiming their desire to go beyond binary oppositions that came to frame research on ‘globalisation’ in the 1990s (global/local, space of flows/space of places, external/internal), they stated their interest in ‘what lies silently between’ these binaries: ‘the rich kernels of specific junctures joining diverse structures, actors, ideas, practices, and institutions with varying ranges in a common and social political frame’.1 It is in these kernels and their resulting frames that social power, political outcomes, forms of authority, order and meaning are created and implemented. As instances of such kernels, which later in the book they call ‘transboundary formations’, they mention the civil war in Uganda, the slave trade system of yesteryear, the traffic of arms and diamonds in African civil wars, the mechanics of African debt or the economics of oil in the Niger Delta.
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