Regional Integration in Africa: What Role for South Africa, Henri Bah, Siphamandla Zondi and André Mbata Mangu reflect on African integration and the contribution of post-Apartheid South Africa. From their different scientific backgrounds, they demonstrate that despite some progress made under the African Union that superseded the Organisation of African Unity, Africa is still lagging behind in terms of regional integration and South Africa, which benefitted from the rest of the continent in her struggle against apartheid, has not as yet played a major role in this process. Apart from contributing to advancing knowledge, the book is a recommended read for all those interested in African regional integration and the relationships between Africa and post-Apartheid South Africa.
Contributors are Henri Bah, André Mbata Mangu and Siphamandla Zondi. Foreword by Eddy Maloka.
Transfers of Belonging, Erdmute Alber traces the history of child fostering in northern Benin from the pre-colonial past to the present by pointing out the embeddedness of child foster practices and norms in a wider political process of change. Child fostering was, for a long time, not just one way of raising children, but seen as the appropriate way of doing so. This changed profoundly with the arrival of European ideas about birth parents being the ‘right’ parents, but also with the introduction of schooling and the differentiation of life chances. Besides providing deep historical and ethnographical insights,
Transfers of Belonging offers a new theoretical frame for conceptualizing parenting.
The voices of orphans and other vulnerable children and young people and of their carers and professional development workers are documented and analysed to both criticise the inadequacies of current social development work and to create a new, alternative theory and practice of project management in Zimbabwe and southern Africa. This is the first extensive and intensive empirical study of Zimbabwean orphans and other vulnerable children and young people. Chronically poor children and their carers can be corrupted or silenced by management systems which fail to recognise their basic human needs. Resilience in the face of such adversity is celebrated by the dominant project management ideology and practice but is a major barrier to achieve genuine sustainable improvements in the lives of vulnerable children. We propose a new person-centred project management approach aimed at delivering comprehensive services for orphans, which explicitly recognises the needs of orphans and other poor children to be fully socially, politically and economically included within their communities and which avoids the reinforcement of power based inequalities and their unacceptable consequences. The moral bankruptcy of much social development work in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Southern Africa is described and we delineate an alternative project management policy and practice.
Ordinary social violence, - i.e. recurrent mental or physical aggression occurring between closely related people - structures social relationships in Africa, and in the world. Studies of violence in Africa often refer to ethnic wars and explicit conflicts and do not enter the hidden domain of violence that this book reveals through in-depth anthropological studies from different parts and contexts in Africa. Ordinary violence has its distinctive forms embedded in specific histories and cultures. It is gendered, implicates witchcraft accusations, varies in rural and urban contexts, relates to demographic and socio-economic changes of the past decades and is embedded in the everyday life of many African citizens. The experience of ordinary violence goes beyond the simple notion of victimhood; instead it structures social life and should therefore be a compelling part of the study of social change.
Travelling Models offers a theoretical concept for comparative research on conflict management in Africa in processes of globalization: how is change in one place related to developments in other places? Why are certain issues that are important in one place taken up in other places, while others are not? The authors examine how the travel of models enact changes, particularly in African conflict situations, most often in unexpected ways. They look at what happens when a model has been put into practice at a conflict site, and they pay attention to the forms of social (re-)ordering resulting from this process. The authors look, among others, at conflict managing models of power- and revenue sharing, mediation, freedom of expression, disaster management, community involvement and workshopping.
Contributors are: Andrea Behrends, Lydie Cabane, Veronika Fuest, Dejene Gemechu, Mutasim Bashir Ali Hadi, Remadji Hoinathy, Mario Krämer, Sung-Joon Park, Tinashe Pfigu, Richard Rottenburg, Sylvanus Spencer and Kees van der Waal.
The Introduction of this volume is being offered in Open Access