Re-Thinking the Subject of Africa's International Relations

Leo E. Otoide
2001 Voice of History  
The general subject of International relations has engaged enormous inquiries. 1 The classical and empiricist schools raise, in part, intriguing questions of identity concerning the study of international relations; the obtrusive inquiry of identity concerning the study of international relations; the obtrusive inquiry on functionality, and indeed, whether international relations is a discipline with a clearly identifiable subject matter. 2 Issues on methodology approaches and
more » ... d conceptualizations are also generating inquires. 3 The diversity of these arguments and interests, buttresses the strength as well as the eclectic character of the subject of international relations. It may be argued that these general theories of international relations to which we have alluded, are not geographically specific. This does not censure the fact that Africa, particularly pre-colonial Africa, has not had appreciable consideration in the maze of discourse of the subject of international relations. Precolonial African institutions and structures are said to lack the indices of statehood, which are the parameters for participation in international relations. It is further asserted that African states were disparate and so, could not maintain regular relations with each other as to be capable of being implicated in a generalized war. 4 In essence, the viability of pre-colonial structures in Africa and their positive role in international relations has not been acknowledged. Two decades ago, J.F.A. Ajayi significantly addressed the understanding of issues in African international relations. 5 The issue remain relevant today. Ajayi
doi:10.3126/voh.v16i2.77 fatcat:zwvwijqt4nbktk6gflewv27b3q