“African Politics” magazine celebrates forty years of “out of scope” analysis

Idea meeting. This social science quarterly was created in 1981 and has made a great contribution to redefining African politics by focusing on the population rather than the elite.

A retrospective of the adventure 40 years ago African politics It started as a challenge: Go exotic Views on African society. This bet is a challenge because scientific production is infiltrated by colonial ethnology and French networks.

“Babz has a monopoly on the publication of political analysis in Africa.One of them, near Foccart cell [la cellule africaine de l’Elysée] Also a communicator between Mobutu and Gaddafi [les anciens présidents zaïrois et libyen]As for the jurists who drafted the constitution of an independent country, they provided a purely legal perspective”, Remember the political scientist Jean-François Bayart.

In order to reverse this view, the young scholar brought together a new generation of French Africans from Christian Coulon to Jean Copans, and initiated the initiative in March 1981. African politicsAt the same time, the Karthala version was born.

Driven by a common knowledge vision, publishing houses and academic journals collaborate to publish quarterly journals. “We are eager to understand the history of African society, in which colonization is just a sequence”, Jean-François Bayart continued. He recalled that at that time the world academic field was dominated by two opposing trends: liberal enlightenment economic theory and the school of dependence theory supported by economist Samir Amin. He believed that rich countries plunged poor countries into poverty. .

Despite the theoretical contradictions, these two paths have made the West the driving force behind the social history of the South.Founder of African politics They chose to place African actors at the core of their editorial projects. The goal they set is to diversify the places of political observation, seek politics outside the traditional space, and no longer be limited to the protagonist of the system and the country.

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