The Social Contract in Africa


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This book employs the event of the Arab Spring revolution of 2011 to reflect on the event itself and beyond. Some of the chapters address the colonial encounter and its lingering reverberations on the African sociopolitical landscape. Others address the aftermath of large scale societal violence and trauma that pervade the African context. The contributions indicate the range of challenges confronting African societies in the postmodern era. They also illustrate the sheer resilience and inventiveness of those societies in the face of apparently overwhelming odds. What is the nature of political power in contemporary Africa as constituted from below instead of being a state driven phenomenon? What constitutes sovereignty without recourse to the usual academic responses and discourses? These two questions loom behind most of the deliberations contained in this book with contributions from an impressive field of international scholars.



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Published 19 June 2014
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EAN13 9780798304450
Language English
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The Social Contract in Africa
The Social Contract in Africa First published in 2014 by the Africa Institute of South Africa PO Box 630 Pretoria 0001 South Africa
ISBN: 978-0-7983-0444-3
© Copyright Africa Institute of South Africa 2014
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or other-wise, without prior permission from the copyright owner.
To copy any part of this publication, you may contact DALRO for information and copy-right clearance.
Any unauthorised copying could lead to civil liability and/or criminal sanctions.
Telephone: 086 12 DALRO (from within South Africa); +27 (0)11 712-8000 Telefax: +27 (0)11 403-9094 Postal Address: P O Box 31627, Braamfontein, 2017, South Africa
Opinions expressed and conclusions arrived at in this book are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Africa Institute of South Africa.
The chapters in this book were each reviewed by at least two peers.
Project manager: Nonjabulo Dladla Copy-editor: Monica Seeber Proofreader: Yvonne Thiebaut Layout and typesetting by Jigsaw Graphic Design Cover design by Berekile Pila Projects Printed by Seriti Printing
The Africa Institute of South Africa is a think tank and research organization, focusing on political, socio-economic, international and development issues in contemporary Africa. The Institute conducts research, publishes books, monographs, occasional papers, policy briefs and a quarterly journal –Africa Insight. The Institute holds regular seminars on is-sues of topical interest. It is also home to one of the best library and documentation centres world-wide, with materials on every African country.
For more information, contact the Africa Institute at PO Box 630, Pretoria 0001, South Africa; Email; or visit our website at
Introductîon Sanya Osha
Chapter One Transnationalisation, denationalisation and deterritorialisation: contemporary cultures in the context of globalisation Toyin Falola
Chapter Two 33 African relational democracy: reframing diversity, economic development DQG VRFLHW\FHQWHUHG JRYHUQDQFH IRU WKH WZHQW\ÀUVW FHQWXU\ Seth N Asumah
Chapter Three European ‘Democracy Promotion’: dynamic versus passive revolution in the Arab Spring Steve McGiffen
Chapter Four Arab Spring: implications for South Africa and Swaziland Tseliso Thipanyane
Chapter Fîve No longer with the bourgeoisie: fanonian considerations on social movements and forms of organisation Nigel C Gibson
Chapter Sîx What is beyond discourses of alterity? 5HÁHFWLRQV RQ WKH FRQVWLWXWLRQ RI WKH SUHVHQW DQG FRQVWUXFWLRQ RIAfrican subjectivity Sabelo J Ndlovu-Gatsheni
Chapter Seven Literature as political critique in Nigeria: mobilisation, dialogue and indictment Sule E Egya
Chapter Nîne 7UDJHG\ ORVV ÀQDOLW\ Sanya Osha
Conclusîon Sanya Osha
I thank Narnia Bohler-Muller for the immense conceptual inputs she made in framing this project while she was based at the Africa Institute of South Africa. Eventually, she had to take up another position elsewhere but her presence can be felt all over the project. I thank Phindile Lukhele-Olorunju for taking up the mantle and skillfully steering the project to its conclusion. $QG ÀQDOO\ , WKDQN WKH VWDII RI $,6$ IRU WKHLU KXJH FRQWULEXWLRQV LQ PDNLQJ this volume a reality. They are of course too numerous to mention but they know who they are. The staff of the Institute for Economic Reasearch on Innovation (IERI), Tshwane University of Technology, particularly Rasigan Maharajh and Mario Scerri, in their distinctive ways, contributed to the suc-cessful completion of this project.
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Toyin Falolais fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters and fellow (PhD) of the Historical Society of Nigeria. He is a Distinguished Teaching Professor and the Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor in History at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of numerous books, includ-ingViolence in Nigeria: The Crisis of Religious Politics and Secular Ideologies, The Power of African CulturesandNationalism and African Intellectuals, all from the University of Rochester Press. He is the series editor ofRochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora, series editor of theCulture and Customs of Africaby Greenwood Press, series editor of Classic Authors and Texts on Africa by Africa World Press, and series editor of Carolina Studies on Africa and the Black World. He has received various awards and honours at the University of Texas, including the Jean Holloway Award for Teaching Excellence, The Texas Exes Teaching Award, the Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award, Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award and the Career Research Excellence Award.
Seth N AsumahSUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, Professor of is Political Science, Professor of Africana Studies and chairperson of the Africana Studies Department at the State University of New York, New York, US. Professor Asumah is the author and co-editor of seven books and over  VFKRODUO\ DUWLFOHV ERRN FKDSWHUV UHYLHZV DQG HVVD\V +H LV SUHVLGHQW emeritus of the New York Africana Studies Association (NYASA) and co-director of the Summer Institute for Infusing Diversity into the Curriculum at SUNY Cortland; and has been involved in diversity, multicultural and teach-ing institutes at the National Multicultural Institute, Washington DC.
Steve Mcgiffen is Associate Professor of International Relations at the American Graduate School in Paris. He has a PhD in US political history, a subject he has taught at the University of Manchester, England and the 8.·V 2SHQ 8QLYHUVLW\ )URP  WR  KH ZDV SROLWLFDO DVVLVWDQW WR D member of the European Parliament, after which he joined the secretariat of the European Parliament’s United Left Group, representing the Socialist Party of the Netherlands, for whom he continues to work as a translator and occasional consultant. His books includeGlobalisation (2002), The European Union: A Critical Guide (2005), Biotechnology: Corporate Power vs the People’s Interest (2006), Poisoned Spring: The European Union and Water Privatisation
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Tseliso Thipanyane %6F //% DQG //0 LV WKH IRUPHU FKLHI H[HFXWLYH RIÀFHU of the South African Human Rights Commission and currently an indepen-dent consultant on human rights, democracy and good governance. He also teaches law at Columbia University, USA.
Nigel Gibsonis the director of the Honors Program, Institute of Liberal Art and Interdisciplinary Studies, Emerson College, US; and also the editor of theJournal of Asian and African Studies. His recent publications include Fanonian Practices in South Africa: From Biko to Abahlali baseMjondolo 8.=1 3UHVV DQG 3DOJUDYH 0DF0LOODQ  Living Fanon editor (Palgrave 0DFPLOODQ  DQGBiko Lives: Challenges and Contestationswith editor $PDQGD $OH[DQGHU DQG $QGLOH 0QJ[LWDPD 3DOJUDYH  
Sabelo J Ndlovu-Gatsheniis a citizen of Zimbabwe who directs the Archie Mafeje Research Institute for Social Policy (AMRI) at the University of South Africa. Prior to his current position, he worked at the Department of Development Studies at the same university. Professor Ndlovu-Gatsheni’s work explores cutting-edge theory as it affects African realities.
Sule E EgyaAssociate Professor of English at the Ibrahim Badamasi is Babangida University, Lapai, Nigeria. He received his doctorate from the University of Abuja where he also taught for some years. Sule has published ZLGHO\ LQ WKH ÀHOG RI OLWHUDU\ VWXGLHV LQ LQWHUQDWLRQDO MRXUQDOV ,Q  KLV well-received novelSterile Skywas published.
Uyilawa UsuanlelePhD was educated in Nigeria, Sweden and Canada and majored in African History. He worked as a researcher and administrator with the National Council for Arts and Culture, Nigeria and was a founding member/coordinator of the Institute for Benin Studies, Benin City, Nigeria. He is a recipient of the Swedish International Development Fellowship award and has read papers at conferences in Africa, Europe, and the Americas. He has contributed articles and chapters to journals and books. He presently teaches African history at the State University of New York (SUNY), New York, US. Victor Osaro Edois a senior lecturer in the Department of History, PhD, University of Ibadan, Ibadan. He is a specialist in Benin Studies as well as in Political and Cultural History. Edo has published many articles in books and learned journals and has co-editedAfrican Culture and Civilization (2005) and African Culture and Civilisation From the Earliest Times to 1500 AD  ZLWK * 2 2JXQWRPLVLQ +H LV D PHPEHU RI WKH +LVWRULFDO 6RFLHW\
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