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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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Abstract:

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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Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Sabelo. J. How did Europe Rule Africa? Dialectics of Colonialism and African Political Consciousness in the Matabeleland Region of Zimbabwe
2008, “How Did Europe Rule Africa? Dialectics of Colonialism and African Political Consciousness in the Matabeleland Region of Zimbabwe,” Lwati: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 5(1).
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Abstract:

The question of how Europe ruled Africa relates to the crucial issues of settlernative identity as constructions of colonialism as well as political consciousness formation and development among the colonized as well as the colonizers. Because colonialism operated ambiguously throughout its life to the extent of hiding its adverse contours of epistemological and mental invasion that have come to haunt during the post-colonial era, it deserve to be subjected to systematic theorization and historicization. This article deploys various conceptual tools culled from post-colonial theories to delve deeper into the dialectics and ontology of colonial governance in Zimbabwe and it simultaneously historicize the phenomenon of colonial governance on the basis of how white Rhodesians inscribed themselves in Matabeleland in the early twentieth century. It also systematically interrogates the development of Ndebele political consciousness under the alienating influences of settler colonialism up to the mid-twentieth century. The article contributes to the broader debates on colonial encounters and colonial governance that have left an indelible mark on ex-colonies across the world. Colonialism was not just a footnote in African history. It had long term pervasive impact of altering everyone and everything that it found in Africa.

Comment: Contributes to the debate on the long-term impacts of colonialism and how it was near impossible to break free from the institutionalised colonial discourse in postcolonial Zimbabwe. Shows that indigenous people are transformed in their conventions and discourse through engaging with colonialism, even in their engagement is in opposition to colonialism. Useful in that the article synthesises many theoretical post-colonial ideas and makes tangible by applying them to the Zimbabwean case. Useful for a teaching on decolonisation, how colonial governments functioned and interdisciplinary teaching on sociology/anthropology/history.

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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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Qin, Yaqing. A Relational Theory of World Politics
2016, International Studies Review 18, no. 1: 33 - 47
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, Contributed by: Fay de Lange
Abstract: Culture matters in social theory construction because the metaphysical component of the theoretical hard core is primarily shaped by the background knowledge of a cultural community. Individual rationality, a key concept abstracted from Western culture, constitutes the nucleus for much of mainstream Western International Relations Theory. This article proposes a relational theory of world politics with relationality as the metaphysical component of its theoretical hard core. It conceives the International Relations (IR) world as one composed of ongoing relations, assumes international actors as actors-in-relations, and takes processes defined in terms of relations in motion as ontologically significant. It puts forward the logic of relationality, arguing that actors base their actions on relations in the first place. It uses the Chinese zhongyong dialectics as its epistemological schema for understanding relationships in an increasingly complex world. This theoretical framework may enable us to see the IR world from a different perspective, reconceptualize key elements such as power and governance, and make a broader comparison of international systems for the enrichment of the Global IR project.

Comment: This articles offers an alternative understanding to the mainstream Western IR theories, which can be interesting to discuss.

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Tahir Amin. Afghan Resistance: Past, Present, and Future
1984, Asian Survey 24(4): 373-399
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, Contributed by: Gijs ter Haar
Abstract: 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

Comment: Discusses the Afghan resistance towards the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979. According to the writer, this is a topic that is overlooked by most other works on the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.

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