University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group > Decolonising African politics: Where is there evidence of change?

Decolonising African politics: Where is there evidence of change?

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Decolonising the university is a growing concern in the social sciences. It is no longer acceptable to assume that Western theories and histories are sufficient for making sense of the world –all the more clear as western democracies are being destabilised by forms of populism, fake news, even Brexit. This paper examines the evidence for recent change in the use of Western-centred epistemological concepts and practices with regards to published scholarship on the politics of Africa. Political scholars recognise that a constrained higher education sector and scholarly conventions limit theory generation from Africa, but little is known about efforts to navigate and generate new ideas and theoretical approaches from the continent. This paper aims to build an evidence base for moves to decolonising knowledge production through a systematic review of theoretical conventions in published scholarship. It poses and addresses the questions: How is theory being engaged in the study of the politics of Africa? To what extent does the study of the politics of Africa inform theory generation?

Dr Stephanie Diepeveen is a Research Associate and Deputy Director in Cambridge’s Centre of Governance and Human Rights, and a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Darwin College. Stephanie’s research explores the intersections of forms of power and digital technology, beginning from an empirical lens in East Africa.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group series.

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