African Agency in International Politics: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

African Agency in International Politics

1st Edition

Edited by William Brown, Sophie Harman


210 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138830417
pub: 2014-09-12
Hardback: 9780415633536
pub: 2013-03-11
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203526071
pub: 2013-03-20
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This book analyses the rapidly increasing role of African states, leaders and other political actors in international politics in the 21st Century.

In contrast to the conventional approach of studying how external actors impacted on Africa’s international relations, this book seeks to open up a new approach, focusing on the impact of African political actors on international politics. It does this by analysing African agency – the degree to which African political actors have room to manoeuvre within the international system and exert influence internationally, and the uses they make of that room for manoeuvre. Bringing together leading scholars from Africa and Europe to explore the role and conception of African Agency, this book addresses a wide range of issues, from relations with western and non-western donors, Africa’s role in the UN and World Trade Organisation, negotiations over climate change, trade agreements with the European Union, regional diplomatic strategies, the character and extent of African state agency, and agency within corporate social responsibility initiatives.

African Agency in International Politics will be of interest to scholars and students of Africa’s international relations, African politics, development, geography, diplomacy, trade, the environment, political science and security studies.


'All in all, the volume is a valuable addition to the literature on Africa in the international system for its innovative approach to the question of power through the framework of agency. It is to be recommended for all those interested in the exercise of international power and agency, as well as area specialists.'

- Meera Sabaratnam, University of London

Table of Contents

1. African agency in international politics William Brown and Sophie Harman Part I: Negotiating Internationally 2. Common positions as African agency in international negotiations: an appraisal Siphamandla Zondi 3. African agency in global trade governanceDonna Lee 4. African agency in world trade undermined? The case of bilateral relations with the European Union Stephen Hurt 5. Back to Business? UK Policy and African Agency Tom Cargill Part II: Agency: New Modes, New Sites 6. Aid dependency as a limitation to national development policy? The case of Rwanda Sven Grimm 7. ‘Image management’ and African agency: Ugandan regional diplomacy and donor relations under Museveni Jonathan Fisher 8. Corporate Social Responsibility as a social development paradigm in Africa’s political economy – its emergence and implications for African Agency Scarlett Cornelissen Part III: States and Agency 9. State Agency and State Formation in Africa David Williams 10. Elusive Agency: Africa's Persistently Peripheral Role in International Relations Stefan Andreasson 11. From weak state to savvy international player? Rwanda’s multi-level strategy for maximising agency Danielle Beswick

About the Editors

William Brown is Senior Lecturer in Government and Politics at The Open University in Milton Keynes, UK.

Sophie Harman is Senior Lecturer in International Public Policy at Queen Mary, University of London, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in African Politics and International Relations

The African Politics and International Relations series seeks to provide readers with a conceptual and comparative perspective on transformations associated with the rise of Africa in international relations and within the global economy. The series explores the empirical and theoretical implications of the engagement of both old and new players, the redefinition of the continent's politics, socio-economic transitions and changing patterns of region-building, both within Africa and with the global South. The series, through its focus on the reappraisal of the role and conception of African agency, seeks to provide readers with a comprehensive, accessible, and insightful treatment of issues that challenge conventional understandings and representations of Africa.

Contact: [email protected]

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