AFRASO-Lecture: Ian Taylor

30. January 2014
Room IG 411, IG-Farben building, Campus Westend

30/01/2014, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Ian Taylor: Emerging Patterns in Afro-Asian Relations: Reinscribing Dependency?

Africa is currently said to be rising, turning a definitive page in its history. Numerous reports have rapidly constructed a narrative of an inextricable upward trajectory. Though all evidence suggests that an upsurge in economic growth has been built on the back of a commodity super-cycle, the Africa Rising discourse prefers to insist that improved governance and qualitative endogenous dynamics have been responsible. Equally, the role of Asia has been cited as playing an important role in diversifying Africa’s international relations and thus granting Africa new and exciting possibilities. Emblematised by the BRICS, a great deal of excitement has been generated to suggest that not only is Africa on the up but that this is taking place within a global context where we are on the cusp of radically changing the global order, one that will be favourable to the developing world. However, Africa has still to go through any structural transformation and that there is strong evidence to suggest a scenario of de-industrialisation and jobless growth has accompanied the upsurge of interest in the continent in recent years. Far from bringing about a milieu where Africa may turn a radically new page in its developmental trajectory, it is argued that the continent is ever more being pushed into the resource corner, with all the well-known attendant pathologies associated with such a situation. At the same time, hope that the Asian countries might offer up an alternative to the extant neoliberal order have been misplaced; the elites of leading Asian states have an integral stake in maintaining the current unequal global system.

Ian Taylor is Professor in International Relations and African Politics at St Andrews and also Chair Professor in the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China. He is also Professor Extraordinary in Political Science at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, an Honorary Professor at the Institute of African Studies, China, and a Visiting Scholar at Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda. Focusing largely on sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) he has authored 7 academic books, edited another 8 and has published over 60 peer-reviewed scholarly articles, over 60 chapters in books and numerous working papers, reports, op-eds, review articles, encyclopedia entries, book reviews etc. He holds a DPhil from the University of Stellenbosch and an MPhil from the University of Hong Kong. Prior to joining St Andrews in 2004 he taught African Politics and various IR and Development subjects for four years at the University of Botswana. He has conducted research in and/or visited 38 African countries.

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