African Political Thought, Part 3: The New African Man
In part 3 of our lecture series, we examine transformation through the figures of Kenneth Kaunda, Julius Nyerere, Milton Obote and Kwame Nkrumah.
Welcome to Part 3 of our ten-part ten-minute lecture series on African Political Thought, brought to you by Stephen Chan, Professor of World Politics at the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS). Each week, a short reading list will be published alongside the lecture. Viewers are also encouraged to pose questions they have for Chan in the comments section below.
If you’d like to get an update when new episodes go up, please send an email with subject line “APT” to [email protected] and you’ll be notified when new lectures are posted.
In this episode, we look at:
The New African Man: the political thought of transformation – Kaunda, Nyerere, Obote, Nkrumah.
For an audio-only version:
Reading list for Part 3
Kwame Nkrumah, Africa Must Unite, New York: International Publishers, 1970.
David Birmingham, Kwame Nkrumah: The Father of African Nationalism, Athens: Ohio University Press, 1998.
Julius Nyerere, Freedom and Socialism, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968.
Henry Bienen, Tanazania: Party Transformation and Economic Development, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967.
Milton Obote, The Common Man’s Charter, radiorhino.org
- Part 1: Antecedents: race and romanticism in Africa – from WEB du Bois to the Manchester Conference to Senghor’s “˜negritude’.
- Part 2: The thought of liberation: Cabral and the Lusophonic thinkers; the “˜pacific’ counterpoint of Kaunda.
- Part 4: The degeneration into “˜Big Men’: case studies of Mobutu and Banda; the critique of Mbembe.
- Part 5: The coup “˜artists’ and the new nationalisms-on-command: from Gowon to Rawlings; the contrasts between Sankara and Amin; the contrasts and similarities between Obasanjo and Abacha.
- Part 6: The old liberationists and their reassertion in new nationalisms: Mugabe’s political thought.
- Part 7: Africa in the world: Mbeki’s African Renaissance – nostalgia and the toleration of the carnivalesque; Ngugi’s linguistic chauvinism; Mandaza’s neo-Marxist retrospection.
- Part 8: The call for democracy: the critique of Soyinka; new constitutionalisms and the looking eastwards to China, Singapore and Malaysia; the model of Russian democracy.
- Part 9: Pan-Africanism today: thought on the African Union.
- Part 10: African intellectual currents and philosophy today: going it alone vs integration with a hegemonic world; Africa and the ICC, Africa and electronic globalisation; the thought of the outlawed commons.
Excellent talk and another suggestion for consideration might be in posting the week following a written transcript of the oral presentation as this would facilitate greater and further reflection on the thoughts and ideas being advanced.
Thank you to all for your encouraging comments, and thanks to African Arguments for their kind hosting. I don’t have a transcript, I regret. The lecture summaries are spoken extemporaneously to camera in one take. One day I’ll write the book of the lectures. May I thank Miia Laine of SOAS Radio, the Student Union station, who kindly produces these talks every week with patience and kindness when I arrive exhausted on Friday afternoons for the filming. We have exactly half an hour of studio time, in which I also record a summary lecture of my other Master’s course, ‘Political Thought on the Just Rebellion’, hosted on the SOAS Youtube channel.
Thank you ,I like common man’s Charter because it is a progressive document .
Great presentation.I like your thoughts and lectures very much.However, I don’t think Nyerere failed as much as you describe it.Despite its challenges, Ujamaa achieved important results, such as the ones you mention, and lay the foundation for a more united and stable nation. I think that is just as important as eradicating poverty.
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