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POLS 3000 Politics of Africa September 19 2013.docx

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Political Science
POLS 3000
Ian Spears

POLS 3000 September 19, 2013. POLS 3000: Politics of Africa September 19 2013 Week 3: Perspectives on Africa II Africa in the “Critical Tradition” ***Know authors names (for essays, exams, tests etc.) There are three broad themes, which are important in the critical traditions 1) FIRST: the critical tradition tended to locate sources of Africa’s challenges outside Africa’s borders. The critical tradition says that there is little that is dysfunctional about Africa; the problem is in the way in which is had been exploited by those outside Africa. a. Operate for the determent of African development b. “Rather than being the solution to Africa’s plight, westerners are very substantial part of the problem and have been for centuries.”- Caplan page 4. 2) SECOND: the critical tradition tends to be critical of existing power structures which, it maintains, are counter to the interests of many if not most Africans/ there is a need to rethink, and hopefully restructure, these power relations for the betterment of everybody. a. Market economies do not serve and benefit everyone equally b. “Whatever steps Africa takes, unless the West radically changes its role few positive results can be expected”- Caplan. i. Critical approach says that existing power structures are not beneficial to all if not most Africans. 3) THIRD: the critical perspective tends to focus on issues of justice, particularly economic injustice. That is, this perspective concerns itself with questions of why some groups, classes, states, are wealthier than others. a. “In a same world, commerce yields to justice”- Caplan page 8 Any state should be democratic, everything else is just “nutty”= Western arrogance Liberals aren’t always concerned with democracy but are definitely not in the critical approach. Modernization Theory (the idea that states develop based on this line [below]) “Traditional”---------------------------------------“Advanced” Modernization Theory and the Dependency Challenge - Africa’s lack of development, dependency theorists claimed, did not result from an inability to achieve a certain stage of development or because of some sort of internal defect. o Dependency theory: in response to and in criticism of modernization theory.  Thus Africa’s lack of development: did not result from inability but instead Africa was doing just fine before imperialists/ colonialists “screwed it up”. - “Until the coming of the imperialists in relatively recent times we did govern ourselves, and the partition of Africa was not prompted by any desire on the part of the colonial powers to save us from our failure to do so!”—Julius Nyerere. 1 POLS 3000 September 19, 2013. The Dependency Challenge - Africa’s inability to develop was a result of the fact that colonialism
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