The political landscape in Africa has been changing for several decades as a result of internal and external forces. These transformational and transitional changes have also created some opportunities for economic growth and their associated challenges. Thus, scholarly engagements with these long-standing political and economic issues have intensified, especially because of the challenges that they pose for policy and decision-makers. Both the contemporary and historical discourses, which the conference offers, provide thought-provoking questions, theoretical and practical insights into the forces that have shaped Africa’s political and economic transformations and transitions over the past decades. The conference will also offer another opportunity to re-assess Chinua Achebe’s prognosis on leadership problems in Africa vis-à-vis developmental challenges that have morphed into transnational crimes and democratic reversals.
‘Transformation’ has been ordinarily framed to be progressive. And ‘progress’, which Adam Ferguson, the Enlightenment scholar, publicised as being “within the competence of the lowest of mankind” has been ironically constructed within many circles to imply movement toward the ‘image’ of the Global North. However, as a means to the good, happy life, development does not necessarily fit with the North’s postmodern ‘liberalist transformation’, which has birthed, among other things, loss of close community and heightened individualism.
Granted also that no strong political economy across the world is underpinned by the Western-style republican democracy of universal adult suffrage challenges popular views about those suitable forms of political ‘transformation’ for progress in Africa. Consequently, should African societies transform toward a North-centric image or recourse to their autochthonous social formations, or adopt a synthesis of the first two, or even something new and different? How did Achebe approach it? How would you approach it?
All individual papers and panel proposals related, but not limited, to the following topics will be considered:
- Colonialism and political transformations
- Democratic transitions
- Democratic reversals
- Gender and political transformations
- Institutional change and social transformations
- Nation-building and ethnic management
- National and sub-national governance
- Knowledge economy in transformational periods
- Colonialism, gender and economic transformations
- Political conflict and insecurity
- Post-colonial state and nation-building
- The military in politics
- Political transitions, democratization, and the spread of authoritarianism
- The state in post-colonial Africa
- Women in the African political system
- Art, film, music, drama, the media and audiovisual articulations of transformation
- Religion in political transformations in Africa
- Ethnicity in political transformations in Africa
- The role/place of language, education, science and technology in the political process
- Implications of social political transformations for health and wellbeing
Abstracts of no more than 200 words should be sent as attached Microsoft Word files to email@example.com on or before 20 May 2023. Author’s name, institutional affiliation, email address, and contact phone number should be provided under the proposed paper title before the abstract. Successful abstracts will be announced by 27 May 2023. Completed papers are required no later than 30 June 2023.
Participants from outside Africa: $100
Africa-based scholars and researchers: $75
Africa-based student participants: $50
Nigeria-based academics: ₦20,000
Nigeria-based student participants: ₦10,000
The conference presentation format shall be in-person and virtual.
All enquiries regarding submissions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Prospective participants whose paper or panel proposals are accepted will be provided further information on registration and details for payment.