© 2019

Foundations of Just Cross-Cultural Dialogue in Kant and African Political Thought


Part of the International Political Theory book series (IPoT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Gemma K. Bird
    Pages 1-15
  3. Gemma K. Bird
    Pages 17-49
  4. Gemma K. Bird
    Pages 83-126
  5. Gemma K. Bird
    Pages 127-169
  6. Gemma K. Bird
    Pages 171-205
  7. Gemma K. Bird
    Pages 207-214
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 215-220

About this book


This book addresses the potential existence of shared foundational principles in the work of Immanuel Kant and a range of African political thought, as well as their suitability in facilitating just and fair cross-cultural dialogue. The book first establishes an analytical framework grounded in a Kantian approach to understanding shared human principles, suggesting that a drive to be self-law giving may underpin all human interactions regardless of cultural background. It then investigates this assumption by carrying out a theoretical analysis of texts and speeches from a variety of African scholarship, ranging from the colonial period to the present day. The analysis, divided into three distinctive chapters covers the Négritude movement, African socialism and post-colonial philosophers, including such thinkers as: Léopold Sédar Sengor, Julius K Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Kwasi Wiredu and Kwame Gyekye. The author argues that underpinning each of their very different theoretical positions and arguments is a foundational argument for the importance of self-law giving. In doing so she highlights the need to respect this principle when embarking on cross-cultural dialogues. The book will be of interest to students and scholars in the fields of African political thought, political theory and international relations.


Kant and African Political Thought Multiculturalism and Relativism Négritude Movement Post-Colonialism Kwame Gyekye Kwasi Wiredu Kwame Anthony Appiah Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong’o Achille Mbembe Julius K Nyerere Samora Machel

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.PoliticsUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

About the authors

Gemma Bird is Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at The University of Liverpool, UK. Her work sits at the intersection between political theory and international relations, focusing on themes of marginalization, culture and dialogue in different setting within discussions of international political thought. Her publications have featured in Citizenship Studies as well as other prominent journals in the field.

Bibliographic information