Carl Death and Clive Gabay: Critical Perspectives on African Politics: Liberal interventions, state-building and civil society

Carl Death and Clive Gabay, have recently published they latest work, an edited volume entitled Critical Perspectives on African Politics: Liberal interventions, state-building and civil society. Published by Routledge, it draws upon critical theory, including postcolonial and governmentality approaches and interrogates international practices of state-building and civil society support in Africa. It seeks to develop a theoretically informed critical approach to discourses and interventions such as those associated with broadly ‘Western’ initiatives in Africa. In doing so, the book highlights the power relations, inequalities, coercion and violence that are deeply implicated within contemporary international interventions on the African continent. Providing a range of empirical cases and theoretical approaches, the chapters are united by their critical treatment of political dynamics in Africa.

This latest publication follows two more recent publications from, Post-Structural and Critical Thought Cluster member, Carl Death:

Carl Death (ed.) Critical Environmental Politics. Interventions. Abingdon: Routledge, 2014.  The aim of this book is to review central concepts in the study of environmental politics and to open up new questions, problems, and research agendas in the field. The volume does so by drawing on a wide range of approaches from critical theory to poststructuralism, and spanning disciplines including international relations, geography, sociology, history, philosophy, anthropology, and political science. The 28 chapters cover a range of global and local studies, illustrations and cases. These range from the Cochabamba conference in Bolivia to climate camps in the UK; UN summits in Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg to climate migrants from Pacific islands; forests in Indonesia to Dutch energy governance reform; indigenous communities in Namibia to oil extraction in the Niger Delta; survivalist militias in the USA to Maasai tribesmen in Kenya.

Carl Death, “Governmentality at the limits of the international: African politics and Foucauldian theory.” Review of International Studies 39, no. 3, (2013), pp. 763-787. The ability of International Relations theory to ‘travel well’ to other parts of the world has become one of the central questions within the discipline. This article argues that a Foucauldian-derived ‘analytics of government’ framework has particular advantages in overcoming some of the difficulties IR theory has faced abroad.

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