CFP: African Studies and Global Politics (12-14 Oct 2017, Ghana)
Second African Studies Association of Africa (ASAA) Conference
Global politics today, whether how we experience the unequal structures of power in our daily lives, or how international relations are presented in classrooms and learning communities; whether we look at the movement of bodies, products and services or the discourse around emigration, immigration or migration; there can be no question that the study of African societies and lives from an Africanist perspective is more imperative than ever before. Recent events and reforms in Africa in the direction of political pluralism, sustainable development and democratic consolidation have revitalized global interests about African cosmologies—repositioning Africa in world affairs and African axiology—the values we place on our cultures, education, development and institutionalisation of democracy.
Global politics, despite differentiations in political systems of the world, present a convergence of ideas, practices, institutions, and events because of the interconnectedness of domestic and international political economy, cultures, precepts and norms. Neoliberalism, marketization, democratic consolidation, human rights issues and good governance have global appeal and Africa is a strong member of the global village. Yet, Africa’s democratic consolidological endeavours and development, which have a teleological foundation, for instance, are assessed with questionable tools imbued with implicit biases in the Global North. This argument provides us with fertile ground and a sense of urgency to continue to address the way Africa is viewed in global spaces.
Certain global events present special challenges and portend particular futures for Africa. The fact that a significant segment of Africa’s population is composed of our youth presents challenges such as young men stranded on boats in open sea as they seek new homes in Europe, or the spectre of young women seeking greener pastures in the Middle East and South East Asia. Our youth are also increasingly likely to be victims of trafficking or sucked into terrorist organisations such as ISIS and Boko Haram. However, the youthful population also presents a demographic dividend evidenced in hip hop cultures, film and music industries, and international football, business and skills gains.