EXC 2060 A3-34 - Articulations of the "political" in Contemporary Postcolonial Contexts of North and Sub-Saharan Africa

in Process
Funding Source
DFG - Cluster of Excellence
Project Number
EXC 2060/1
  • Description

    In the governance literature, Africa is considered a continent of "failed states". There is a wealth of research that shows why postcolonial statehood fails in many cases: due to ethnic and religious diversity, scepticism towards state institutions, experiences of violence by the state and the law during colonialism, and continued political and economic dependence on former colonial powers, among many other factors. In contrast to this body of literature, which focuses on the continent's supposed deficits, the research group is dedicated to the emergence of innovative concepts of the political that have been developed in political philosophy and political theory in Africa in recent decades. Special attention is given to postcolonial theory production. The research project deals with works by authors who have not been received at all or only marginally in the German-speaking and Anglo-Saxon context of political philosophy. For the first time, it systematically examines this body of literature with regard to their contributions to new conceptions of the political from a comparative perspective. As a corrective to conceptions based purely on Western experience, the research project turns to local epistemologies. In doing so, the project takes into account intra-African as well as intercontinental hybridisations of political thought (between North and Sub-Saharan Africa, Africa and Europe as well as Africa and the black diaspora) and seeks to avoid any essentialisation of supposedly static-homogeneous African culture. Special attention is given to the ways in which these forms of political organisation deal with religious pluralism. This research will apply methods of comparative political theory and transcultural hermeneutics. The overall research goal is to reconstruct new conceptions of the political that productively renew traditional forms of politics and thus function as transcultural impulse providers for African and non-African contexts.

  • Persons