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Odoom, Isaac, Adrews, Nathan. What/who is still missing in International Relations scholarship? Situating Africa as an agent in IR theorising
2016, Third World Quarterly 38, no. 1 (2016): pp. 42-60
, Contributed by: Sarah Schmeitz

This paper engages with non-Western, specifically African, scholarship and insight with the goal of highlighting the importance of African contributions to IR theorising. We highlight the Western dominance in IR theorising and examine the inadequacy of the major analytical constructs provided by established IR theory in capturing and explaining shifting reality in Africa. We argue that African insights, experience and ideas present a challenge to dominant IR constructs and knowledge within the international system, and that these insights, when taken seriously, would enrich our understanding of IR. We show this by problematising some central (often taken-for-granted) IR concepts such as the state, liberalism and individualism and underscore the need to reconstruct more encompassing ‘stories’ and images to innovate, revise and potentially replace some of the conventional ‘stories’ that have been told in IR.

Comment: Provides a good overview on the importance of non-western perspectives within IR theory, useful to make students aware of the level of eurocentrism in IR.

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