The Entrapment of Africa within the Global Colonial Matrices of Power

This article deploys world-systems analysis and the concept of coloniality to
examine the experience of the African people within the modern world-system
since 1492, a date that figuratively marks the birth of the modern world-system
and its shifting international orders. Africa’s experience is contextualized within
six international orders: the post-1492 order, the Westphalian order that emerged
in 1648, the post-1884–1885 Berlin consensus, the post-1945 United Nations
normative order, the Cold War epoch that ended in 1989, the current neoliberal
dispensation as well as the post 9/11 anti-terrorism and securitization. While
Africans have actively contested Euro–North American hegemony throughout these
periods, they have not yet succeeded in breaking the strong global technologies of
coloniality that continue to prevent the possibilities of African agency. This is why
this article ends with a call for deepening the decolonization and deimperialization
of the international order in the twenty-first century.

From the Organisation of African Unity to the African Union: Rethinking the Framework for Inter-State Cooperation in Africa in the Era of Globalisation

The adoption of the Constitutive Act of the African Union marked a historic moment in institution-building and the continuing “move to institutions” in Africa. The African Union can be understood, at least, at two levels: first, as a manifestation of Africa ‘s collective response to the twin-challenges of globalism/globalisation and regionalism/regional integration; secondly, as an expression of a resurgent commitment to the ideology of Pan-Africanism and the enduring quest for deeper African unity. This essay examines the politico-legal context behind the move from the Organisation of African Unity to the African Union. It argues that the establishment of the African Union is not merely the most recent attempt at continental institutional reform and institution building, but that it also represents a unique constitutional moment which has provided African states with the opportunity for fashioning a new body of normative principles to guide their interaction and cooperation. While offering no comprehensive examination of all the core provisions of the Constitutive Act, particular attention has been paid to some key principles. Chief among these is Article 4(h), relating to the right of intervention, which potentially constitutes both a significant and controversial African contribution to the mapping of new international law. Overall, it is argued that the new organisation represents a radical departure from the political, legal, and institutional framework of its predecessor, and that it is founded on a range of new normative principles reflecting a changed attitude and a new approach among African states to the management of their common interests and challenges. The essay concludes by suggesting that the move to the new institution and the adoption of new normative principles will only have qualitative meaning when AU member states move beyond the mere exhortation and expression of lofty principles and ensure their effective incorporation in praxis.

‘India and the Balance of Power’

India is on the verge of becoming a great power and the swing state in the international system. As a large, multiethnic, economically powerful, non-Western democracy, it will play a key role in the great struggles of the coming years. Washington has recognized the potential of a U.S.-Indian alliance, but translating that potential into reality will require engaging India on its own terms.

‘Underdevelopment and Dependence in Black Africa: Historical Origin’

Keeping in mind the variety of social, cultural and economic conditions distinguishing African Societies, the author divides the continent into three macro-regions: (1) Africa of the colonial economy (enlarged West Africa) (2) Africa of the concession companies (Congo Basin) (3) Africa of the labor reserves (East and South Africa).The dialectics between colonial policies and social formations and modes of production in ternal to the regions are seen as a major determinant in shaping the history of underdevelopment in Black Africa. On this basis, four historical periods are analyzed : (1) The pre-mercantilist period (2) The mercantilist period (3) The preparatory phase for colonization (4) The colonization period. Concluding the discussion of the colonization period, the author points to the necessity of viewing African socities as dependent, peripheral ones, shaped according to the needs of dominant, capitalist societies.

Contemporary Latin American thinking on International Relations: theoretical, conceptual and methodological contributions

This article analyses recent productions of Latin American thinking on international affairs. The reviewed cases and examples are interrelated, for they are explanatory and interpretative abstractions of processes and practices in the international field, characterized by a description of formulations, concepts and methodological contributions. The common feature of these dimensions is the will of their formulators to explain their national and regional political realities from their own perspectives. Recent contributions offer potential for generalizations from national cases. They account for new realities that may impact on the international and regional system of international affairs.

Postcolonial Criticism: International reality and modes of inquiry

Border Securitisation and Politics of State Policy in Nigeria, 2014–2017

This article examines the politics of public policies characterised by increased securitisation of Nigeria’s national boundary from 2014 to 2017. While the regulation appears on paper to discourage transborder crime, capital outflow and sustain a favourable balance of payment, the existing armoury of West African border literature argues otherwise. What is new in the transborder dynamics of West Africa? What informs government’s border policies in Nigeria? In answering these questions, this study provides a template for a reassessment of the gap between borderlands theory and policy in West Africa. The approach is comparative based on the critical analysis of oral interviews, government trade records, newspaper reports and the extant literature. The article provides a platform for rethinking of the nexus between governance and development in West Africa from the securitisation and neo-patrimonial perspectives. It concludes that effective border management in Nigeria is set aback by misguided and dysfunctional elitist-centred regulations that are devoid of the realities on the ground.

Nigeria’s foreign policy and transnational security challenges in West Africa

This article explores how Nigeria’s foreign policy has responded to transnational security challenges in West Africa. It engages in a conceptual overview of the discourse on transnational security and links this with a discussion of Nigeria’s foreign policy towards West Africa. Of note is Nigeria’s pursuit of a leadership role in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in its quest for security, economic integration and development. Several questions are posed: What do Nigerian policymakers consider to be the most significant transnational threats in West Africa? How and through what legitimate policies and instruments do they respond to such threats? How important is ECOWAS to Nigeria’s attempt to respond to transnational threats? And how effective have Nigeria’s attempts to influence the ECOWAS agenda in this regard been? Although ECOWAS has remained central to Nigeria’s responses to transnational security threats in the subregion, the country has not been able to match its rhetoric on addressing transnational security threats with far-reaching concrete achievements. It is suggested that social transformation of Nigeria’s current foreign policy (that is, to one focused and committed to putting people at its centre) and a change in the policies of dominant global powers towards West Africa would enhance human emancipation and eliminate the numerous insecurities confronting the peoples of the subregion.

Women, Gender and Development in Africa

Gender denotes the social prescriptions associated with biological sex in regard to roles, behaviour, appearance, cognition, emotions, and so on. Social relations of gender or gender relations encompass all relationships in which gender subjectivities play a role, including those among people, and between people and the institutions, systems, and processes of development. The chapter describes three features of gender relations that are generally consistent across societies – gender ideologies and mythsgendered division of labor; and unequal power relationships – and discusses their implications for development. The chapter further explains the centrality of gender to the development enterprise and discusses various approaches to integrating gender analysis in development processes.

Afghan Resistance: Past, Present, and Future

Armchair strategists analyzing the far-reaching impli-
cations of Soviet intervention in Afghanistan tend to ignore or under-
emphasize one very important reality: The Soviet occupation of Af-
ghanistan is not yet an established fact. The Afghan resistance movement
has become a national liberation war, posing a real and formidable
challenge to Soviet control over Afghanistan. Six months after the Soviet
intervention in December 1979, Brezhnev claimed in the plenary session
of the central committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union:
“Now life in Afghanistan is gradually returning to normal. Large bands of
counterrevolutionaries have been routed, and interventionists have suf-
fered a serious defeat.”‘ But four years later, the Soviet media continue
to report “counterrevolutionary” activities, admitting that “many public
institutions in Afghanistan have been destroyed. Industrial enterprises,
utility lines and irrigation systems have become targets of sabotage,
costing Afghan industry alone 2.8 billion Afghanis.3 On April 11, 1983,
Kabul Radio carried a broadcast in which Prime Minister Sultan Ali
Keshtmand revealed that half of Afghanistan’s hospitals and schools have
been destroyed and three-quarters of the country’s communications have
been disrupted by the guerrillas.4