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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Africa at the 'Edge' of Globalisation
Author:Lyons, Tanya
Periodical:Australasian Review of African Studies
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:global economy
international relations
Education and Oral Traditions
Politics and Government
Abstract:Following the end of the Cold War and as major powers through the 1990s reduced or withdrew their support from strategic locations around the world, most African States remained highly vulnerable in the global economy. The prevailing view of Afro-pessimists was of a continent marginalized and on the periphery of the global economy, beset by corruption, poverty, disorder and misrule; and so backward that, having no future it would continue to slide further into corruption, poverty, disorder and misrule. The end of South African apartheid in the mid-1990s, however, stimulated a sense of renewed hope, and from this perspective of Afro-optimism globalization now appeared to offer Africa a bright future of integration into global markets on African terms. This paper suggests that while Africa illustrates dramatically the competing definitons of globalization, it is nonetheless at the 'edge' of globalization rather than being perpetually pushed back to the periphery. Given its many different images the paper examines the 'contested' nature of globalization itself and its human consequences as illustrated today by the juxtaposition of commodities, consumption and social justice movements. It questions Africa's global positioning in the Third World and existing global divides between the First World and the Third, before considering briefly the potential for development within these global processes and structures. Notes, ref.