Power In Africa An Essay In Political Interpretation

Thus, arguing the importance of the ‘dark continent’ with the common citizen will remain futile in the near future.However, showing scholars of IR the need to place Africa in the current web of international affairs will be now be the task of this paper.

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This development of political thought should be understood in the context of European state development and not taken as the rule for the world despite the seemingly all encompassing title: state of ‘nature’ (Caprioli 255) Additionally, as this paper will show, state development in Africa differed greatly from European development, thus Feminist IR theorists who show that the IR field is focused too heavily on the state can be a possible explanation for the misunderstanding of African power and states.

These misunderstandings of the continent are fostered by the Western media reporting about the sensationalized stories of human suffering that results from corruption, famine, or civil conflict.

However, these theorists still see Africa as the periphery of the field of IR.

Dunn summarizes that all of the accepted IR theories see Africa only as something to be “acted upon” (3).

I used these sources of power to construct a framework that took the power that Africa in fact possessed and showed how it could be asserted in traditional power applications.

Perception of Africa Africans “don’t really make meaningful politics” was how one scholar summed up Western attitudes about the continent in the years following the Rwanda genocide.First, by examining the perception of Africa, here forth in this paper referring to those countries south of the Sahara, I could explain why power was discounted.Second, I looked for the sources of power that I knew existed but had been missed by much of the international relations theory literature.All organizations involved in the aid system are forced to legitimize their efforts, and to find new causes to solicit funds in order to fight.When the president from the most powerful African nation is forced to go on a campaign to implore the G-8 nations to increase their aid contributions, it raises questions about who is most invested in keeping the view of Africa as a an aid dependent region (NYT).This is an overall trend that has occurred in media since the advert of the cable news channel, but this causes a significant knowledge deficit to occur among the general populaces of the West, but also the world as a whole.This becomes a deadly circle of causality when the need to drum up support of aid for the continent is examined.The neorealism camp focuses only on the ‘great’ (defined by the West) power of IR.The neoliberal field assumes that because Africa has no hegemonic power, the prerogative of developed nations has no counterweight to allow Africa to resist their power.With Africa’s place in the American consciousness beginning with Stanley’s dramatic adventure to find Livingstone, the mosaic of Africa remains not only incomplete, but inaccurate (Hawk 7).Western perceptions of Africa will continue to remain the picture that the media portrays or what school text books write due to the lack of people-to-people diplomacy and cultural exchange between populations in Europe and the United States and the citizens of African states.


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