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Acharya, Amitav. ’Global International Relations (IR) and Regional Worlds: A New Agenda for International Studies
2014, nternational Studies Quarterly, 58(4), pp. 647–659
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Abstract:

The discipline of International Relations (IR) does not reflect the voices, experiences, knowledge claims, and contributions of the vast majority of the societies and states in the world, and often marginalizes those outside the core countries of the West. With IR scholars around the world seeking to find their own voices and reexamining their own traditions, our challenge now is to chart a course toward a truly inclusive discipline, recognizing its multiple and diverse foundations. This article presents the notion of a “Global IR” that transcends the divide between the West and the Rest. The first part of the article outlines six main dimensions of Global IR: commitment to pluralistic universalism, grounding in world history, redefining existing IR theories and methods and building new ones from societies hitherto ignored as sources of IR knowledge, integrating the study of regions and regionalisms into the central concerns of IR, avoiding ethnocentrism and exceptionalism irrespective of source and form, and recognizing a broader conception of agency with material and ideational elements that includes resistance, normative action, and local constructions of global order. It then outlines an agenda for research that supports the Global IR idea. Key element of the agenda includes comparative studies of international systems that look past and beyond the Westphalian form, conceptualizing the nature and characteristics of a post-Western world order that might be termed as a Multiplex World, expanding the study of regionalisms and regional orders beyond Eurocentric models, building synergy between disciplinary and area studies approaches, expanding our investigations into the two-way diffusion of ideas and norms, and investigating the multiple and diverse ways in which civilizations encounter each other, which includes peaceful interactions and mutual learning. The challenge of building a Global IR does not mean a one-size-fits-all approach; rather, it compels us to recognize the diversity that exists in our world, seek common ground, and resolve conflicts.

Comment: This article seeks to explain the concept of ‘global IR’. In order to create a Global IR, it is necessary to accept the plurality of thought which can be found across the Globe. Can be used an in introductory course to IR to demonstrate the prevalence of eurocentrism in the study of International Relations.

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Annette Joseph-Gabriel. Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire
2019, University of Illinois Press
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Publisher’s Note: Black women living in the French empire played a key role in the decolonial movements of the mid-twentieth century. Thinkers and activists, these women lived lives of commitment and risk that landed them in war zones and concentration camps and saw them declared enemies of the state. Annette K. Joseph-Gabriel mines published writings and untapped archives to reveal the anticolonialist endeavors of seven women. Though often overlooked today, Suzanne Césaire, Paulette Nardal, Eugénie Éboué-Tell, Jane Vialle, Andrée Blouin, Aoua Kéita, and Eslanda Robeson took part in a forceful transnational movement. Their activism and thought challenged France's imperial system by shaping forms of citizenship that encouraged multiple cultural and racial identities. Expanding the possibilities of belonging beyond national and even Francophone borders, these women imagined new pan-African and pan-Caribbean identities informed by black feminist intellectual frameworks and practices. The visions they articulated also shifted the idea of citizenship itself, replacing a single form of collective identity and political participation with an expansive plurality of forms of belonging.

Comment: Useful for discussing concepts of citizenship and belonging in the decolonial movements of the mid-twentieth century. Prior knowledge of these themes is required for an in-depth discussion of the book. However individual chapters can constitute a good starting point for questions of gender, race, and postcolonialism without prior advanced knowledge.

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Brent Hayes Edwards. The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism
2003, Harvard University Press
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, Contributed by: Emma Johnson
Publisher’s Note: A pathbreaking work of scholarship that will reshape our understanding of the Harlem Renaissance, The Practice of Diaspora revisits black transnational culture in the 1920s and 1930s, paying particular attention to links between intellectuals in New York and their Francophone counterparts in Paris. Brent Edwards suggests that diaspora is less a historical condition than a set of practices: the claims, correspondences, and collaborations through which black intellectuals pursue a variety of international alliances. Edwards elucidates the workings of diaspora by tracking the wealth of black transnational print culture between the world wars, exploring the connections and exchanges among New York–based publications (such as Opportunity, The Negro World, and The Crisis) and newspapers in Paris (such as Les Continents, La Voix des Nègres, and L’Etudiant Noir). In reading a remarkably diverse archive—the works of writers and editors from Langston Hughes, René Maran, and Claude McKay to Paulette Nardal, Alain Locke, W.E.B. Du Bois, George Padmore, and Tiemoko Garan Kouyaté—The Practice of Diaspora takes account of the highly divergent ways of imagining race beyond the barriers of nation and language. In doing so, it reveals the importance of translation, arguing that the politics of diaspora are legible above all in efforts at negotiating difference among populations of African descent throughout the world.

Comment: Discusses the practices of black diaspora in the 1920s and 1930s in a transnational context. Requires some prior knowledge (more suitable for graduate students) but offers a good overview of topics and key figures in black internationalism. Utilizes a wide range of historical sources and methods.

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Maluwa, Tiyanjana. From the Organisation of African Unity to the African Union: Rethinking the Framework for Inter-State Cooperation in Africa in the Era of Globalisation
2007, Maluwa, T. (2007) “From the Organisation of African Unity to the African Union: Rethinking the Framework for Inter-State Cooperation in Africa in the Era of Globalisation,” Botswana Law Journal, 5(06), pp. 5–47.
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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.

Comment: This article provides a useful overview of the establishment of the African Union, and the transition from the OAU to the AU. It intervenes in the debate over the transformation of the institutional framework for African inter-state cooperation and coordination from the OAU to its successor, the AU, as well as how traditional international organisations have adapted to deeply changing political circumstances over the years. It would be suitable for a course on the history of regionalism.

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Nicholas Grant. Winning Our Freedoms Together: African Americans and Apartheid, 1945-1960
2017, University of North Carolina Press
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Publisher’s Note: In this transnational account of black protest, Nicholas Grant examines how African Americans engaged with, supported, and were inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement. Bringing black activism into conversation with the foreign policy of both the U.S. and South African governments, this study questions the dominant perception that U.S.-centered anticommunism decimated black international activism. Instead, by tracing the considerable amount of time, money, and effort the state invested into responding to black international criticism, Grant outlines the extent to which the U.S. and South African governments were forced to reshape and occasionally reconsider their racial policies in the Cold War world. This study shows how African Americans and black South Africans navigated transnationally organized state repression in ways that challenged white supremacy on both sides of the Atlantic. The political and cultural ties that they forged during the 1940s and 1950s are testament to the insistence of black activists in both countries that the struggle against apartheid and Jim Crow were intimately interconnected.

Comment: Discusses the perseverance of black activism from an international perspective and its relation to foreign policy. Requires prior knowledge of the US and South Africa during the Cold War as well as knowledge of anticommunism and apartheid during this period.

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Sarah Claire Dunstan. A Question of Allegiance: African American Intellectuals, Presence Africaine and the 1956 Congres des Ecrivains et Artistes Noirs
2015, Australia New Zealand American Studies Associations
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Abstract: Recent scholarship has demonstrated that in the period from 1945 through to the late 1950s African American intellectuals re-oriented their activism from an internationalist and human rights framed agenda towards a domestically bound struggle. This article will contribute to this literature by mapping out a facet of African American intellectual engagement with the African diaspora during this period. Of particular focus will be African American reactions to the journal Présence Africaine and the conference sponsored by the journal in 1956, le Congrès des écrivains et artistes noirs. Iwill argue that the experiences of a select group of African American delegates to this Congrès served to emphasise the radically different objectives and strategies of nationalities within the African diaspora, thereby consolidating black American perceptions of themselves as first, and foremost, American. In interrogating this diasporan dimension of the period, this article will shed light on a neglected aspect of African American history and expand the intellectual and political boundaries of the black freedom struggle.

Comment: Useful for discussions on African American activism in the early Cold War. Shows the discrepancy between the impact of anticommunism on radical activism and American foreign diplomacy championing for human rights. Should be used as an example after having established solid background knowledge on this topic.

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