Yale University, 27-28 March 2009
Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University
Eunice Njeri Sahle, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
This symposium seeks to investigate the nature of Africa's international relations in the post-independence era in an attempt to understand if, and in what forms, contemporary versions of "neo-imperialism" exist on the African continent, and consequently, how they impact Africa's populations. In particular, it seeks to gain greater insight into the ways in which academics and practitioners understand and employ the term "neo-imperial" in relation to Africa. In this discourse, fundamental questions as to the nature of post-independence African international relations are raised, including: Have African nations truly gained the economic and political sovereignty that was implied by their accession to independence, or are they beholden to the whims outside poles of power? To what extent do larger geo-political struggles of power between nations continue to be played out as proxy wars on African soil and what are the implications for economic, political and human developments on the continent? Where can the distinction between "neo-imperialism" and "globalization" actually be drawn?
Topics of Interest Include:
1) Definitions and discourse on understanding "neo-imperialism" in the African context:
a) Historical, comparative and theoretical perspectives
2) Case studies discussing questions of "neo-imperialism" of African relations with:
a) Former colonial / Cold War powers
b) Emerging powers, specifically from the Global South
c) Multinational corporations
d) International Financial Institutions
3) African responses to "neo-imperialism:"
a) African agency in engaging and/or rejecting "neo-imperialism"
b) Responses from national, regional, pan-African, and Diasporic organisms
4) Human impacts of "neo-imperialism," specifically in regards to:
a) Economic development
b) Political development
c) Human rights