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African Politics of Survival

Extraversion and Informality in the Contemporary World

edited by Mitsugi Endo, Michael Neocosmos, Ato Kwamena Onoma

This volume addresses two primary research concerns: first, considering extraversion (or extroversion) as a term for characterizing a region that is "mobilizing resources from their (possibly unequal) relationship with the external environment", a dynamic that constitutes a possible African potential; and, second, a survey of competing systems and strategies with a focus on relationships between formal and informal institutions in terms of their collaborations and conflicts. In addition, this volume contains three chapters examining very recent African responses to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic from a variety of perspectives. The final part of this volume contains an important contribution to the conceptualization of 'African Potentials'. This has proven to be a significant conceptual innovation, that allows intellectual access to alternative ways of thinking about latent ideas of universality.

ISBN 9789956551682 | 308 pages | 229 x 152 mm | 2021 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback

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"This volume addresses two primary research concerns: first, considering extraversion (or extroversion) as a term for characterizing a region that is “mobilizing resources from their (possibly unequal) relationship with the external environment”, a dynamic that constitutes a possible African potential; and, second, a survey of competing systems and strategies with a focus on relationships between formal and informal institutions in terms of their collaborations and conflicts. In addition, this volume contains three chapters examining very recent African responses to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic from a variety of perspectives. The final part of this volume contains an important contribution to the conceptualization of ‘African Potentials’. This has proven to be a significant conceptual innovation, that allows intellectual access to alternative ways of thinking about latent ideas of universality.

This volume brings together perspectives on 'African Potentials' – formal and informal capabilities – for organic responses to military interventions, arms transfer, social conflict, wars and peace, collapsing states, public health – particularly the recent COVID-19 pandemic – and the potential universalism embodied in popular culture. Each rich essay hints, in different ways, at alternative conceptions of the universal that emerge in collective struggles, enriching understanding of the creative capacity of African communities to make their own history. This important collection should be widely read and discussed."

Firoze Manji (PhD), Publisher, Daraja Press; Adjunct Professor, Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

"This volume, based on the intellectual interaction of a unique collaboration of the African and Japanese experts, shows an innovative way of looking at the potentials of African societies to engendering viable solutions in tangling with the complexities and challenges of the global age. The originality and flexibility in transforming their own history and culture, presented with a variety of ethnographic case studies, are stimulating and eye-opening for Africanists and others as well."

Yoko Nagahara, Professor, Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University

"Amidst long-standing intellectual contestations on how to interpret the African world, this book offers a path-breaking approach which eschews the imperialistic readings of the continent with stylised Western lenses and a romanticised response which idealises African culture and tradition. Students and policy makers interested in an alternative approach to understanding African dynamics that transcends the old and tired prisms of Afro-pessimism and Afro-optimism will find much in this book that is both refreshing and stimulating."

Adebayo Olukoshi, Research Professor of International Economic Relations and Director for Africa and West Asia, International IDEA

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