This chapter (in Norwegian) discusses the inherent tension between nations (or ethnic groups) and the modern state formations which in most African cases were superimposed on them after decolonisation. The former tends to harbour ambitions of self-determination, either within a given state formation, or by seceding from it if no accommodation can be found. The state, on the other hand, struggles to maintain the integrity of its functions and borders. It also discusses federal solutions and supra-national arrangements in the context of globalisation.