Africa and International Relations in the 21st Century by Scarlett Cornelissen

By Scarlett Cornelissen

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With regard to the former, one can consider contributions gained from (a) adapting existing theory and concepts to the local context; (b) moving beyond state-centrism; and (c) alternative understandings of state behaviour/different ways of doing IR. Beyond the boundaries of IR, one can investigate contributions from (a) other academic fields such as literature and anthropology; (b) popular culture and new media; and (c) everyday life. An overview of each of these is provided below. Adaption, revision and reinterpretation One way to facilitate inclusion of Africa as an object of study and Africans as potential agents of IR knowledge is by exploring African interpretations/articulations of concepts used in IR, as well as related concepts that may not be found in Western IR discourses.

The different social, political, economic, cultural (including intellectual), historical, geographical and Karen Smith 25 ideological contexts found in the global South, in comparison with the North, thus provide potentially fertile ground for innovative perspectives on IR that may fall outside the intellectual framework of Northern scholars. In addition, one can include cultural–institutional factors (which include the political culture of the countries or regions in which theorizing takes place, as well as the habits, attitudes and professional discourse within the social science) identified by Jorgensen (2000) in his exploration of continental European IR versus British and American IR.

Some of these include Neuman (1998), Aydinli and Mathews (2000), Dunn and Shaw (2001), Nkiwane (2001a), Thomas and Wilkin (2004) and Lavelle (2005). 2. Also see a recent book on the topic edited by Jideofor Adibe (2009). 3. Thank you to Tim Shaw for drawing my attention to this. 4. See, for example, Drezner and Farrell (2008). 3 Collectivist Worldview: Its Challenge to International Relations Thomas Kwasi Tieku Introduction This chapter unpacks individualist and collectivist worldviews in social science scholarship to show that many scholars in the English-speaking international relations (IR) community look at the world through the prism of individualism, which usually renders unheard the international experiences and voices of people in the global South.

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