This book discusses and challenges concepts that are widely used in research and policy related to development issues in Africa. The main rationale for such an undertaking is that the concepts that are used to understand and define the world in general and Africa in particular are not merely describing social, economic and political processes and events; they are also largely framing these very same processes. Thus, the concepts by which we structure the world will implicitly or explicitly give premises for policies and practices; limiting or favouring certain types of actions and frameworks of interpretation and understanding in various contexts. It is therefore important to challenge commonly held conceptions about framing African development. Contributors include: Deborah Fahy Bryceson, Rosalind Eyben, Amanda Hammar, Kjell Havnevik, Mats Hårsmar, Terje Oestigaard and Rune Skarstein
Africa Negotiating an Emerging Multipolar World
With the end of the Cold War, the world seemed to move from a bipolar to a unipolar system, with the neoliberal West globally imposing its laws. However, it has been acknowledged that other actors, such as China, India and Brazil, have become increasingly influential, helping to lead to a new multipolarity at the global level. The question of what this emerging multipolarity means for Africa is important. Will Africa become crushed in a mounting struggle over raw materials and political hegemony between superpowers and fall victim to a new scramble for Africa? Or does this new historic conjuncture offer African countries and groups greater room for negotiation and manoeuvring, eventually leading to stronger democracy and enhanced growth? The chapters in this volume offer food for thought on how Africa’s engagements with the world are currently being reshaped and revalued, and, importantly—on whose terms?