Against Bringing Africa “Back-In”

  • Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni


This chapter considers the issue of recentering Africa is IR by rejecting calls for “bringing Africa back in.” It argues that Africa does not need to be brought back in, for the continent is already integral to colonial-capitalist modernity and its violent processes of domination and exploitation. What is needed, instead is, it suggests, a displacement of the global colonial matrices of power and the fashioning of alternative decolonial visions that “re-members” Africa as an important global region through a decolonial praxis, critical thought, and self-assertion.


Africa Coloniality Dismemberment Re-membering Epistemicide African idea Globalectics 


  1. Ahluwalia, P. (2001). Politics and Post-Colonial Theory: African Inflections. London and New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahluwalia, P. (2003). The Struggle for African Identity: Thabo Mbeki’s African Renaissance. In A. Zegeye & R. L. Harris (Eds.), Media, Identity and the Public Sphere in Post-Apartheid South Africa (pp. 27–39). Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  3. Ajayi, J. F. A. (1969). Colonialism: An Episode in African History. In L. H. Gann & P. Duignan (Eds.), Colonialism in Africa, 1870–1960: Volume 1 (pp. 497–509). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Ake, C. (1979). Social Science as Imperialism: Theory of Political Development. Ibadan: University of Ibadan Press.Google Scholar
  5. Amin, S. (1985). Delinking: Towards a Polycentric World. London and New York: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  6. Ayandele, E. A. (1971). A Visionary of the African Church: Mojola Agbebi. Nairobi: East African Publishing House.Google Scholar
  7. Blaut, J. M. (1993). The Colonizer’s Model of the World: Geographical Diffusionism and Eurocentric History. New York: The Guildford Press.Google Scholar
  8. Blyden, E. W. (1967). Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Césaire, A. (1955). Discourse on Colonialism. New York: Monthly Review Press.Google Scholar
  10. Chen, K.-H. (1998). Introduction: The Decolonization Question. In K.-H. Chen (Ed.), Trajectories: Inter-Asia Cultural Studies (pp. 1–26). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Clapham, C. (1996). Africa and the International System: The Politics of State Survival. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Comaroff, J., & Comaroff, J. (2012). Theory from the South or, How Euro-America Is Evolving Towards Africa. London: Paradigm Publishers.Google Scholar
  13. DuBois, W. E. B. (1903). The Souls of Black Folk. New York: Dover.Google Scholar
  14. Ekeh, P. (1983). Colonialism and Social Structure: An Inaugural Lecture Delivered at the University of Ibadan on Thursday, 5 June 1980. Ibadan: University of Ibadan Press.Google Scholar
  15. Falola, T. (2001). Nationalism and African Intellectuals. Rochester: Rochester University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Fanon, F. (1968). The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Press.Google Scholar
  17. Frenkel, M. Y. (1974). Edward Blyden and the Concept of African Personality. African Affairs, 72(292), 277–289.Google Scholar
  18. Garvey, M. (1969). The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey, or Africa for Africans: Volume 2. New York: Arno Press.Google Scholar
  19. Gordon, L. R. (1995). Fanon and the Crisis of European Man: An Essay on Philosophy and the Human Sciences. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Grosfoguel, R. (2007). The Epistemic Decolonial Turn: Beyond Political-Economy Paradigms. Cultural Studies, 21(2/3), 203–246.Google Scholar
  21. Grosfoguel, R. (2011). Decolonizing Post-Colonial Studies and Paradigms of Political Economy: Transmodernity, Decolonial Thinking and Global Coloniality. Transmodernity: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of Luso-Hispanic World, 1(1), 1–39.Google Scholar
  22. Grosfoguel, R. (2013). The Structure of Knowledge in Westernized Universities: Epistemic Racism/Sexism and the Four Genocides/Epistemicides of the Long 16th Century. Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge, XI(1), 73–90.Google Scholar
  23. Hegel, G. W. F. (1944). The Philosophy of History. New York: Grove Press.Google Scholar
  24. Hoppers, C. A. O., & Richards, H. (2012). Rethinking Thinking: Modernity’s ‘Other’ and the ‘Transformation of the University. Pretoria: UNISA Press.Google Scholar
  25. Kissinger, H. (2014). World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  26. Maldonado-Torres, N. (2007). On Coloniality of Being: Contributions to the Development of a Concept. Cultural Studies, 21(2/3), 240–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mamdani, M. (1996). Citizens and Subjects: The Legacy of Late Colonialism in Africa. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Mamdani, M. (2013). Define and Rule: Native as Political Identity. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Mazrui, A. A. (1986). The Africans: A Triple Heritage. London: BBC World Service.Google Scholar
  30. Muchie, M. (2013, May 17). The Relevance of Ethiopianism to Africa Today. Unpublished Seminar Presentation, Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa.Google Scholar
  31. Mudimbe, V. Y. (1994). The Idea of Africa. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. J. (2013a). Empire, Global Coloniality and African Subjectivity. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books.Google Scholar
  33. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. J. (2013b). The Entrapment of Africa Within the Global Colonial Matrices of Power: Eurocentrism, Coloniality and Deimperialization in the Twenty-First Century. Journal of Developing Societies, 29(4), 331–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. J. (2014). Global Technologies of Domination: From Colonial Encounters to the Arab Spring. In E. Obadare & W. Willems (Eds.), Civil Agency in Africa: Arts of Resistance in the 21st Century (pp. 27–48). New York: James Currey.Google Scholar
  35. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. J. (2015a). Decoloniality in Africa: A Continuing Search for a New World Order. Australasian Review of African Studies, 36(2), 22–50.Google Scholar
  36. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. J. (2015b). Genealogies of Coloniality and Implications for Africa’s Development. Africa Development, XL(3), 13–39.Google Scholar
  37. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. J. (2016, March 9). Rhodes Must Fall’: South African Universities as Sites of Struggle. Public Lecture delivered at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London, UK.Google Scholar
  38. Ngugi wa Thiong’o. (1986). Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. Oxford: James Currey.Google Scholar
  39. Ngugi wa Thiong’o. (1993). Moving the Centre: The Struggles for Cultural Freedom. London: James Currey.Google Scholar
  40. Ngugi wa Thiong’o. (2009a). Re-membering Africa. Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers Ltd.Google Scholar
  41. Ngugi wa Thiong’o. (2009b). Something Torn and New: An African Renaissance. New York: Basic Civitas Books.Google Scholar
  42. Ngugi wa Thiong’o. (2012). Globalectics: Theory and the Politics of Knowing. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Ngugi wa Thiong’o. (2013). In the Name of the Mother: Reflections on Writers and Empire. Oxford: James Currey.Google Scholar
  44. Nkrumah, K. (1964). Consciencism. New York: Monthly Review Press.Google Scholar
  45. Nkrumah, K. (1965). Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism. London: PANAF Books.Google Scholar
  46. Osaghae, E. (1991). Colonialism and African Political Thought. Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies, 19(2/3), 20–45.Google Scholar
  47. Quijano, A. (2007). Coloniality and Modernity/Rationality. Cultural Studies, 21(2/3), 168–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Quijano, A. (2000). Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America. Nepantla: View from the South, 1(3), 533–579.Google Scholar
  49. Rodney, W. (1972). How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. London: Bogle-L’Ouverture Publications.Google Scholar
  50. Santos, B. d. S. (2014). Epistemologies of the South: Justice Against Epistemicide. London: Paradigm Publishers.Google Scholar
  51. Santos, B. d. S. (2007). Beyond Abyssal Thinking: From Global Lines to Ecologies of Knowledge. Review, XXX(1), 45–89.Google Scholar
  52. Wilder, G. (2015). Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization and the Future of the World. Durham and London: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Worrell, R. (2005). Pan-Africanism in Barbados. New York: New Academic Publishing.Google Scholar
  54. Zeleza, P. T. (1997). Manufacturing African Studies and Crises. Dakar: CODESRIA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni
    • 1
  1. 1.Archie Mafeje Research InstituteUniversity of South Africa (UNISA)PretoriaSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations