Work-in-Progress Seminar WIP on “African Experiences and Alternativity in International Relations Theorizing about Security”

Thomas Jaye Work-in-Progress Series

The Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research (FAAR) at KAIPTC held an internal ‘Work-In-Progress Seminar’.

Topic: African Experiences and Alternativity in International Relations Theorizing about Security.
Speakers: Prof. Kwesi Aning & Dr. Kweku Danso
Date: Wednesday 21st July 2021
Time: 1000hrs

Abstract: Deconstructing International Relations (IR) episteme acknowledges its generation of specific types of scientific knowledge and a corresponding order of global politics that relegates African experiences, worldviews, and insecurities to the margins of world politics. Typical of the knowledge relegation has been the delegitimisation of distinct forms of knowledge generation located within African origins inside the wider hegemonic contexts of Western interpretational domination. This forecloses alternativity, as parochial Western interpretations of world politics are projected as the truth and accepted as common sense without questioning critically how the ‘truth’ is constructed and sustained. Notions of security as a derivative of power that figure authoritatively in IR scholarship hardly captures the complexities and experiential nuances of African states and their societies. Drawing on insights from postcolonial discourses and the episteme of alternativity, this paper explores how the study of events and processes in Africa in a theoretically conscious manner could advance IR scholarship as a whole. It contends that incorporating African experiences can broaden the empirical base for IR theorising about security since they offer a perspective outside the conventional Western assumptions and experiences.