Political Discourses in African Thought: 1860 to the Present

Political Discourses in African Thought: 1860 to the Present

Political Discourses in African Thought: 1860 to the Present

Political Discourses in African Thought: 1860 to the Present

Synopsis

Boele van Hensbroek provides in-depth discussions of the most important African political discourses of the last 150 years. He reveals a fascinating world of ideas, from the great 19th century theorists, such as Edward Blyden and Africanus Horton, to prominent nationalists, such as Kwame Nkrumah and Amilcar Cabral, and to contemporary African intellectuals. The comprehensive African history of ideas reveals that particular styles of political reasoning recur which can be reconstructed as three consistent "models" of thought. Finally, the historical insight and philosophical analysis of models of thought allow for a well-informed critical inventory of African political thought at the close of the 20th century.

Excerpt

The dominant political ideal during the colonial period was self-government. in the 1950s this ideal finally appeared within reach in the form of an Africa made up of independent nation-states. the possibility of independence created a completely new political horizon in which the actual construction of the nation-state became the focal issue. a number of new problems appeared on the agenda. What political system should be chosen for the national state? What is the "African" substance of this state? How can Pan-African ambitions be framed in an Africa consisting of national states? How can true independence, beyond "flag independence," be achieved?

The boisterous ideological struggles over these issues went through major shifts at intervals of about a decade in the following forty years. the radical nationalism of the Manchester Pan-African Congress of 1945 and the West African National Secretariat (WANS) was followed, in the 1950s, by a dominant liberal democratic orientation exemplified by Nkrumah's "tactical action." the 1960s brought the golden age of African Socialist ideologies. Important events in this period were the Dakar Colloquium (1962), the launching of Ujamaa (1962) and the Arusha Declaration (1967) by Tanzanian president Nyerere, Nkrumah's Consciencism (1964), and the Kenyan government paper on African Socialism (1965). in the 1970s Marxism became prominent in a context of stagnating development, the rise of dependency and underdevelopment theories, and the successful liberation wars in the Portuguese colonies. in the 1980s all projects for building an alternative society seemed to have halted. the Ethiopian famine, the unprecedented destruction of the Mozambiquan experiment, and the deepening economic crisis of the 1980s left little hope for a better future. Although outrageous events such as famines, wars, and genocide continued in the 1990s, inspiring prospects came to life . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.