Africa poses some challenges in the International Relations theory, in its development, application and making it almost impossible to implement the traditional theories in the African context. Traditional theories including Subaltern Realism, Liberalism, Marxism and Constructivism. Africa then poses a challenge on these and other theories in terms of conceptualisation and the relevance in its contexts terms such as democracy, statehood, power, sovereignty and security. This essay will discuss the challenges posed by Africa in the International Relations Theory and how African political contributions have been recognised very little as compared to other continents such as North America.
The continent of Africa had its own definition of democracy before being colonised by countries like Europe, even after decolonisation it still has a different definition and understanding of democracy. Africans are rather concerned about being able to meet economic needs they have than having intellectual political privileges. The first country in Africa to be decolonised was Liberia in 1848. Democracy in Africa after decolonisation and most countries being independent most Africans believe democracy is the ability to elect the government they want in power, having access to government or public services these include education, health services, infrastructure, job creation, social grants and surety that they would be protected against any harm. When comparing African democracy and that of the developed continents like North America where democracy is understood to be the ability to have political views recognised, elections without interference and voting in confidence. In most countries in Africa it has been evident that some election as in Zimbabwe have not been fair nor free, citizens have been threatened to vote for some political representatives and political parties, some have been offered money or properties so they can vote in favour of others. As Zimbabwe gets ready to vote in 2018, “These cases of threats, harassment and intimidation have resulted in some citizens choosing to stay away from the registration process altogether,” Gorejena told Daily Maverick. Theorists such Thomas Hobbes then focused on the democracy in developed continents because they understood better these definitions and application while developing theories like Realism.
International relations (IR) theorists and publicists have projected the necessity to rethink the notion of sovereignty with a view to reforming practice (Kegley 1993). they need been emotive to their conclusions by international developments like the inordinateness of internal wars due to ethnic conflicts and therefore the collapse of legitimate authority; the increasing flow of refugees worldwide; and therefore, the attendant unfolds of misuse and pandemic diseases across borders. Invariably, these critics denounce the rigidity of this regime of sovereignty and purpose to its insufficiencies as basis for understanding and managing international existence. In general, they assume the existence of 1 international regime of sovereignty of totally autonomous territorial states. several complain that belief during this Westphalian system obscures otherwise fluid international dynamics and relations of power. Thus, they notice it inexplicable that the regime of sovereignty-as-enclosed-territories persists because the privileged mode of international existence (Lyons and Mastanduno 1993, 1995). Such are the positions of Robert H. Jackson (1990), Robert Kaplan (1994), et al World Health Organization argued that post-colonial states possess neither internal coherence nor credible governments to be granted the standing of full sovereignty. one might not question the humanitarian tendencies underlying their arguments, however notice their representations of sovereignty, the international order, and diplomacy fraught with analytical errors, ideologic confusions, and historical omission.
The field of IR and therefore the study of power usually takes no account of the facility in Africa and is usually centred on the Anglo-Saxon read of power relations. as an example, organisation in Africa entails the force-feeding of African materials into the Western-centric structures. whereas individual African countries suffer from the worldwide power difference between nations; deep inequalities conjointly exist at intervals individual African countries between ruling elites and normal voters, if supported category, gender, age or access to decision-making. However, the planet is undergoing radical structural transformations, that are dramatically neutering world power usually – not solely the facility relations between developed and developing countries, however conjointly at intervals countries themselves. the dual crises of the delay within the America economy and therefore the debt crisis in Europe caused by the worldwide money crisis, and therefore the coinciding rise of rising countries like China, Brazil and India, has the potential to remake the planet and to make existing unequal world power relations between developed countries and developing countries. It offers a essential juncture for African countries to handle power inequalities at intervals the planet order and at intervals individual African countries. The geographic region and Arab Springs illustrate however the spill over effects of those world crises might doubtless open the area in several individual African countries – and rework their unequal national power relations. The neo-liberal field assumes that because of Africa has no hegemonic power the perquisite of development nations has no counterweight to permit Africa to resist its power. Herbst argues that geographic options influenced however precolonial African states planned of profound power.
The definition of statehood is different in Africa is different from that of developed continents There are several definitions of states, an inordinateness of explanations of however they work and loads of various viewpoints on what they represent. From Marxism to neo-conservatism, from realism to art movement, movements on all sides of the political spectrum and people representing each intellectual movement in diplomacy, politics, political economy and additional, have created their own visions of what the state is and the way it works. At the time of writing, Herbst argued that the politics literature had for the most part neglected the African state-building expertise and cantered instead on state creation in Western Europe. His book is a trial to know the long-haul processes of state-building in Africa. the shape of state current in Southern Africa was solid throughout colonial occupation. the British, Portuguese, German associate degreed Belgian colonial powers used an indirect variety of despotism to control, that served to favour sure ‘trusted’ leaders over others, so entrenching power hierarchies in rural areas. Through the method of group action that began, in most African territories, at the shut of war II, African leaders gained bigger political power beneath European rule. within the decades that followed independence, they worked to form the cultural, political, and economic character of the postcolonial state.