The Dynamics of Economic and Political Relations between Africa and Foreign Powers: A Study in International Relations

The Dynamics of Economic and Political Relations between Africa and Foreign Powers: A Study in International Relations

The Dynamics of Economic and Political Relations between Africa and Foreign Powers: A Study in International Relations

The Dynamics of Economic and Political Relations between Africa and Foreign Powers: A Study in International Relations

Synopsis

International relations at large and Africa's in particular are shaped by the actors' historical location, by what they offer economically and culturally, and by who they are socially. In international relations, nations tend to deal with objective conditions as they are or as they are perceived. However, Lumumba-Kasongo demonstrates through case-studies of Liberia and Zaire/Congo that what "the objective conditions" are may not necessarily be what they ought to be in the national development process.

Excerpt

Relationships among nations and people are not ontologically static. They are always changing to satisfy some specific interests. in the 20th century, international relations have been shaped more by the dynamics of the global system than by local/national imperatives. Africa's international relations tend to respond more to the logic, needs and the demand of the global capitalism than to these of the African people, their conditions, and internal dynamics. That is to say, Africa's international relations can be studied as a set of subsystems of the global system. Why has it been this way? What has Africa collectively gained from the functioning of current international relations? What directions will international relations take in Africa in the 21st century and beyond? What are the dominant trends in relationships between Africa and foreign powers?

The politics of frontiers and the significance of geographical morphologies are weakened by marketing and production processes within multinationals, the strength of international cooperation, the movement of capital, and by the power of communication technologies. However, the contradictions of the global capitalism in terms of its processes of surplus accumulation, resource distribution, and re-allocation at the national level in the developing world, have forced some people and their groupings to re-define themselves in various cultural, psychological, and national forms. These forms reflect, for worse or better, the nature of multipolarity of the world system.

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