Hountondji as a Public Intellectual and His Political Career

  • Franziska DübgenEmail author
  • Stefan Skupien
Part of the Global Political Thinkers book series (GPT)


Part II introduces the reader to the biographical, political and historical context of Hountondji’s philosophy by giving an account of his years in Paris, in Zaire and subsequently his work as an academic in Benin as well as internationally. Situating Hountondji as a public intellectual allows for tracing his interventions in framing the Benin revolution of 1972 based on his earlier philosophical critique. The intellectual involvement shows, how Hountondji navigated in a Marxist framework between the critique of neo-imperialism and the call to develop unorthodox answers to the endogenous development of Benin. The second half of this part traces Hountondji’s political involvement in the context of the widely acclaimed Beninese national conference of 1990 and his subsequent work as a Minister of Education and as Minister of Culture and Communication. Part II concludes by briefly discussing, language policy in Benin as a prerequisite of appropriating African knowledge and the international debate about the content and form of teaching African philosophy across the continent.


Présence Africaine Benin Authoritarianism Marxism–Leninism National conferences Language policy African philosophy curricula Public intellectual 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.WZB Berlin Social Science CenterBerlinGermany

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