In Inventing America, José Rabasa presents the view that Columbus’s historic act was not a discovery, and still less an encounter. Rather, he considers it the beginning of a process of inventing a New World in the sixteenth century European consciousness. The notion of America as a European invention challenges the popular conception of the New World as a natural entity to be discovered or understood, however imperfectly. This book aims to debunk complacency with the historic, geographic, and cartographic rudiments underlying our present picture of the world.
Southern Africa has experienced highs and lows in its efforts towards democratisation. Following political independence of Southern Africa states, the germination of democratisation was a rather slow process. A brief period of multi-party democracy introduced through pre-independence elections quickly dissipated and was replaced by one-party, one-person and, in some instances, military regimes. This era also coincided with the height of the Cold War globally and the heyday of apartheid in which inter-state conflicts had intensified. Since the late 1980s and early 1990s, a new dispensation has emerged wherein multi-party democracy has re-emerged in the context of the post-Cold War and post-apartheid dispensation, marked by relative peace dividend. However, democratisation in Southern Africa remains a mixed bag today. Some countries have not yet experienced the democratic transition. Others have managed to transition from one-party, one-person and military regimes to multi-party democracies. In various others, there are signs of reversal of democratic gains. This paper reviews the state of democratisation in Southern Africa with a view to understand why the regional record is so uneven across countries that form the Southern African Development Community (SADC). While the article presents a regional snapshot, it also presents comparative insights from Botswana and Lesotho.
One of the fundamental questions in Africa’s search for meaningful political and economic integration is how small states with limited resources promote change in their regional neighborhoods. This study looks at Africa’s Frontline States—Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—to assess their role in southern African security since the 1970s. Several issues formed the basis for collaboration among these Frontline States (FLS) in the 1970s and 1980s: advancing Zimbabwe’s and Namibia’s independence, building regional economic institutions, and managing South Africa’s dominance. The FLS contributed to decolonization and economic integration by aggregating their collective strengths and attracting external actors into the region.
Through the eyes of principal African actors, this study explains local and international efforts at resolving conflicts across the racial and economic divides of southern Africa. It complements the myriad studies on security, conflict resolution, and regional integration in an area undergoing tremendous transformations as it attempts to leave the decolonization conflicts of the 1970s behind.
Newly elected US President Joe Biden confronts enormous challenges in Africa with regard to reversing four years of the Donald Trump administration that was largely characterised by disdain, disinterest and derision toward the continent. The change of the guard in the White House come January 2021 is expected to herald a shift in tone and style toward the continent, which has always yearned for a prime spot on a crowded US foreign policy agenda. As I argued previously, there are high expectations of his presidency because most Africans regard democratic administrations to be more closely aligned to Africa’s concerns and interests. This essay analyses growing perceptions in Africa about the Biden administration and the possibilities for it meeting some of the continent’s objectives.
‘The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission: An Annotated Bibliography’ is a much-needed reference work for those who are studying and pursuing the outcomes of Truth Commissions around the world. However, it is also a valuable tool for all researchers from diverse disciplines. For example, those specialising in the fields of sociology, political science, and literature will find material that appeals and is relevant to their areas of research. There is little doubt that students and researchers pursuing courses such as Conflict Resolution, Good Governance and International Relations would find this compilation more than beneficial since it covers not only an assortment of themes but it also includes ingenious cartoons by the famous Zapiro and memorable photographs by George Hallet. In addition, the compiler also inserted a select number of poems that dealt with the issues and themes related to the TRC process.
This essay understands the significance of Tahrir Square as a radical shift both n the way of doing politics, from armed struggle to popular struggle, and in the definition of political identity, from religious to territorial. It seeks to understand the historical significance of the shift by placing it in the context of technologies of colonial rule (both the Ottoman millet system and British indirect rule) and post-colonial attempts to rethink and reform this mode of rule. The result is a historical reflection that begins with Steve Biko and the Soweto Uprising in 1976, Mahmoud Mohamed Taha and John Garang in post-colonial Sudan, and closes with Sayyid Qutb and the significance of Tahrir Square.
This article analyses the role of the European Union (EU) in collaboration with the East African Community (EAC) in responding to challenges of policing against cross-border crime along the Tanzanian–Kenyan border. It assumes and argues that the EU’s capability as well as presence in regard to peace and security have a significant impact on addressing those challenges. The article intends to refer to the concept of interregionalism in order to describe and explain the nature of the EU–EAC relationship. The literature review and field data indicate several challenges faced by police forces in law enforcement related to the porous border between Tanzania and Kenya. The article highlights how these challenges have been hindering crime- combating efforts across the borders. The conclusion reached is that cross-border crime control calls for improved cooperation between concerned states as well as with external actors such as the EU.
This paper investigates the risk presumably involved in the narratives of non- Western international relations theory (IRT) by focusing on a similar historical case in Japan. It reveals the risk of uncritically accepted geographical division, and particularly focuses on the discourses of the Kyoto School’s theory of world history as an example of non-Western narratives in the past, which was to ‘overcome’ the Western civilization similar to the contemporary non-Western IRT. However, they are also infamous for providing justification for the wartime regime in Japan for their aggression in the Asian continent. What is the connection between their philosophy and support for the imperialist regime? If there is a connection between them, is there any possibility of the resurrection of the same results in the case of non-Western IRT? To answer these questions, the article introduces the philosophy of Tosaka Jun who was critical of the School but, unlike Kyoto School philosophers, stubbornly fought against the mainstream politics of the time.
Since the 1990s, African actors have been engaged in ending civil wars. These efforts have often been characterized as the quest for indigenous solutions to local conflicts. Using cases of mediation in Eastern Africa-Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Sudan – this study probes the strengths and weaknesses of African mediation initiatives. The book contends that although African actors have limited resources to mediate civil wars, over the years, they have learnt to seize opportunities that accrue from participating in conflict resolution to contribute to peaceful settlements. Conceptualized as building organizational power for mediation, this process has entailed evolving professional norms and standards of intervention. Eastern African mediators have also benefited from interaction with international mediators in conflict resolution.
There have been debates on the meaning and appropriateness of the term Global South. To many, no unifying term can apply to regions and countries whose differences extent to the colonial past, cultural traditions, economic trajectories, and administrative or organizational structures. The critics are mistaken. This essay postulates that the term Global South is a symbolic designation with political implications. It is meant to capture a cohesion that emerged when former colonial entities engaged in political projects of decolonization and moved toward the realization of a postcolonial international order. As it stands today, the Global South has its origins in twentieth-century anti-colonialism, the 1955 Bandung Conference, the 1961 NonAligned Movement, and Cuba’s Tricontinentalism, among others.
Although the term Global South gained currency at the end of the Cold War, when the term Third World seemed to fall into disfavor, the change does not signify a renunciation of the ‘Third World.’ It merely signals an adjustment in ideological and political positioning to reflect the new forms of contentions around the legacies of colonialism. Thus, the Global South captures the spirit of Third World engagements in that it continues to invite re-examinations of the intellectual, political, and moral foundations of the international system. The Global South is therefore a multifaceted movement that underscores the need for a postcolonial international community of interest that advances the objectives of equality, freedom, and mutuality in the form of a new ethos of power and subjectivity through
foreign policy, international solidarity, and responsibility to self and others in an international order free of the institutional legacies of colonialism. Finally, as a movement, the Global South has no central structure, no central command, and no appointed spokesperson. It has had multiple custodians, all of them self-selected, in reaction to the deepening and multifaceted violence experienced at the moment by its members.