African Political Thought, Part 4: The Degeneration into ‘Big Men’
In part 4 of our lecture series, we look at Mobutu, Banda and the degeneration into ‘Big Men’.
Welcome to Part 4 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.
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In this episode, we look at:
The degeneration into “˜Big Men’: case studies of Mobutu and Banda; the critique of Mbembe.
For an audio-only version:
Reading list for Part 4
Achille Mbembe, On the Postcolony, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.
Michela Wrong, In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu’s Zaire, New York: Haper Collins, 2001.
Robert I. Rotberg, The Rise of Nationalism in Central Africa, Camb. Mass: Harvard University Press, 1965.
- 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 3: The New African Man: the political thought of transformation – Kaunda, Nyerere, Obote, Nkrumah.
- 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.