Moving beyond a self-indulgent attitude about Africa’s historical victimhood, the book seeks to capture how African states individually and Africa’s collective institutions (the AU) are providing agency in Africa’s international relations. While African states have been trailblazers in such ideas as ‘The Responsibility to Protect’, as conceived in the African Union Constitutive Act (2001) which preceded the United Nations (UN) Secretary General’s report “In Larger Freedom” (2005) in which the UN adopted the concept, African agency in international relations has not always been captured proactively.
This volume seeks to document Africa (and African states) in a state of proactivity as opposed to a reactionary mode of international relations which has long been the case due to the discipline’s heavy concentration on the West.
The main themes explored are: African agency in international relations and commerce, agency in Africa’s balancing of big and regional powers, reshaping Africa-EU relations beyond the Cotonou Agreements, Africa and international human rights institutions, African efforts in elections and conflicts in Africa and relationship building among African leaders.
Part I – State Agency
1. Conceptualizing Agency and Influence in African International Relations
Elijah N. Munyi, David Mwambari, and Aleksi Ylönen
2. Appropriating African Agency in International Relations
Funmi Olonisakin and Moses Tofa
3. Confronting an Imperialist Court: The Quagmire of African Agency in Dealing with the International Criminal Court
4. Growing Actorness and Clientilist Success in African Summit Diplomacy
Elijah N. Munyi
5. Engaging Arab Powers: The Changing Regional Political Environment and Regime Agency in the Coastal Horn of Africa
6. Fledgling Agency: African Union (AU) Interventions in Election-related Violence in Côte d’Ivoire
Tinashe Sithole andTimi Legend Asuelime
7. Hurting Stalemate in International Interventions: An Analysis of the African Agency in the IGAD-Led Engagements in the South Sudan Crisis, 2013-2017
8. Emergence of Post-Genocide Collective Memory in Rwanda’s International Relations
9. African Agency Exercised by National States: The Case of South Africa
Part II – Non-State Agency
10. Revolution is Female: Reconstructing African Women's Agency in Political Regime Change Lessons from Sudan's Revolution
Fatuma Ahmed Ali and Stephen Amin Arrno
11. The ‘Rhizomic’ Borders in the Spirit of ‘Brotherhood’ in the Horn of Africa
Agnes W. Behr
12. African Agency through Film
13. Renaissance of African Philosophy: Restoring the Stolen Legacy
Michael Kanyange Macharia
David Mwambari is an FWO Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Conflict and Development Studies at Ghent University in Belgium and an adjunct faculty at The African Leadership Centre (ALC) in the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy at King’s College London, UK.
Elijah Nyaga Munyi is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the United States International University and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Science Po University, France.
Aleksi Ylönen is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the United States International University, Africa.
Beyond History is a most welcome addition to the analysis and advocacy of the 'global South' in IR/IPE from rising African scholars. It suggests a variety of 'African agency' as well as shifts in regional relations around the Horn of Africa. It resonates with current discourses and foreign policy debates, focusing on the evolution of inter-regional relations, non- as well as inter-state. This original book deserves to be read and discussed as a major contribution to overlapping fields into the third decade of the 21st century.