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African anticolonialism in international relations: Against the time of forgetting

Gruffydd Jones, Branwen 2018. African anticolonialism in international relations: Against the time of forgetting. In: Iñiguez de Heredia, Marta and Wai, Zubairu eds. Recentering Africa in International Relations: Beyond Lack, Peripherality, and Failure, London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 187-223. (10.1007/978-3-319-67510-7)
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Abstract

One of the distinct strands of the broader international relations discourse on Africa’s “failure” is a rather contemptuous attitude toward and analysis of anti-colonialism and decolonization. Much of the mainstream scholarship about postcolonial African statehood and sovereignty implicitly and at times explicitly endorses colonial rule, if only on pragmatic grounds, apparently lamenting the rushed and ill-informed process of independence. This chapter takes up IR’s problem with time, temporality and coloniality. Part of the discipline’s problem with Africa, it suggests, is both its failure to understand the centrality of colonialism and its legacies to the making of the modern international order, and to theoretically consider colonialism and anti-colonialism, as experiences and relationships of international relations which demand serious critical reflection. Focusing specifically on Portuguese colonialism in Africa, and African anticolonial responses to it, the chapter makes two important claims: first, that it is the discipline’s dominant conceptions of time and temporality that serve to marginalize and contain the colonial experience and, second, that the thought and practice of African anti-colonialism may be understood as a radical critique and rejection of international relation’s dominant conceptions of temporality. It is only by taking these two vectors of enunciation seriously that we may begin to appreciate not only the Eurocentrism of IR but also imagine the condition of possibility for rethinking IR for Africa.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
J Political Science > JX International law
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9783319675091
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 January 2019
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2019 10:17
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/115179

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