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Africa and the Poverty of International Relations

Branwen Gruffydd Jones
Third World Quarterly
Vol. 26, No. 6 (2005), pp. 987-1003
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4017821
Page Count: 17
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Africa and the Poverty of International Relations
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Abstract

The modern condition of poverty in Africa is a global phenomenon, the outcome of world-historical processes of social change, and reproduced by globally structured social relations. This is obscured in academic analysis. The 20th century division of labour produced an absence of theorising the international from the discipline of Development Studies, and an absence of poverty from the concerns of International Relations. Neither Development Studies nor IR have adequately emphasised or theorised the global production and reproduction of local poverty in Africa. Perhaps this can be remedied, thanks to the increasing attention to studying international relations 'from below' in recent critical scholarship. However, methodologically, the current critical approaches in IR and DS are disabled by their abandonment of objectivity and a commitment to explanation. The article concludes by arguing for elaboration of the global political economy of poverty in Africa, as a form of social scientific inquiry with necessarily emancipatory implications.

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