African Agency In International Politics

Brown, William and Harman, Sophie eds. (2013). African Agency In International Politics. Routledge Studies in African Politics and International Relations. London: Routledge.



This book analyses the burgeoning role of African states, leaders and other political actors in international politics in the 21st Century. In contrast to the conventional approach to studying Africa’s international relations, which focused on how external actors impacted on Africa, this book seeks to open up a new approach, focussing on the impact of African political actors on international politics. It does this by analysing African agency – the degree to which African political actors have room to manoeuvre within the international system and exert influence internationally and the uses they make of that room for manoeuvre. It offers some general observations on Africa’s contemporary role in international politics and how the idea of agency can be utilised to analyse Africa’s international relations. Contributions to the book present a variety of takes on this issue, analysing both the opportunities and constraints that face African states and leaders. Authors address a wide range of issue areas, from relations with western and non-western donors, Africa’s role in the UN and World Trade Organisation, negotiations over climate change and over trade agreements with the European Union, regional diplomatic strategies, the character and extent of African state agency, and agency within corporate social responsibility initiatives.

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