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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Africa and international relations: assembling Africa, studying the world
Author:Abrahamsen, RitaISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society (ISSN 1468-2621)
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:international relations
African studies
External link:https://doi.org/10.1093/afraf/adw071
Abstract:This Research Note contributes to recent debates about Africa's place within the discipline of International Relations (IR). It argues that bringing Africa into IR cannot be simply a question of 'add Africa and stir', as the continent does not enter the discipline as a neutral object of study. Instead, it is already overdetermined and embedded within the politics and structure of values of the academe, which are in turn influenced in complex ways by changing geopolitics. The present combination of IR's increased awareness of its own Western-centrism and Africa's position as the new 'frontline in the war on terror' therefore harbours both opportunities and dangers, and bringing Africa into IR involves epistemological and methodological challenges relating to our object of study and political challenges relating to the contemporary securitization of Africa. The Research Note suggests that an assemblage approach offers a productive way of negotiating this encounter between IR and African Studies, making it possible to study Africa simultaneously as a place in the world and of the world, capturing the continent's politics and societies as both unique and global. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]