Bringing African Scholarship Back In: Lessons from the Pan-African Political Project

  • Gemma K. Bird


The chapter explores the value of previously marginalized narratives to discussions in international relations. In particular it focuses on the potential contributions of Léopold Sédar Senghor, Kwame Nkrumah, and Julius Nyerere to contemporary discussions of citizenship beyond the bounded understanding associated with the nation-state. Through a questioning of the Négritude movement and the pan-African project, the chapter suggests that lessons can be learnt for both contemporary cosmopolitanism and citizenship studies through a re-reading of the narratives of scholars that have been previously excluded or written out of international relations theory.


Pan-Africanism European Union Cosmopolitanism Pan-national citizenship Federalization 


  1. Agamben, G. (1993). The Coming Community. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  2. Appiah, K. A. (1992). In My Father’s House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bailey, J. (1998). Preface. In A. Smyth & A. Seftel (Eds.), The Story of Julius Nyerere Africa’s Elder Statesman. Dar Es Salaam: Mkuki na Nyota Publishers.Google Scholar
  4. Balibar, E. (2012). The ‘Impossible’ Community of the Citizens: Past and Present. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 30(3), 437–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bird, G. K. (2016). Beyond the Nation State: The Role of Local and Pan-National Identities in Defining Post-Colonial African Citizenship. Citizenship Studies, 20(2), 260–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Checkel, J. T. (2001). The Europeanization of Citizenship? In M. G. Cowles, J. Caporaso, & T. Risse (Eds.), Europeanization and Domestic Change: Transforming Europe (pp. 180–197). Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Chrisman, R. (1973). Aspects of Pan-Africanism. Black Scholar, 4(10), 2–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. DuBois, W. E. B. (2008). The Souls of Black Folk. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Esedeke, P. (1977). New Pan-African Trends. Africa, 73, 67–68.Google Scholar
  10. Esposito, R. (2010). Communitas: The Origin and Destiny of Community. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Gemma Bird. (2017). Rethinking the Role of the Arts in Politics: Lessons from the Négritude Movement. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 1–13.
  12. Huntington, S. P. (1993). The Clash of Civilizations. Foreign Affairs, 72(3), 22–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Isin, E. (2009). Citizenship in Flux: The Figure of the Activist Citizen. Subjectivity, 29, 367–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Isin, E. F. (2008). Theorizing Acts of Citizenship. In E. F. Isin & G. M. Nielsen (Eds.), Acts of Citizenship (pp. 15–43). London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  15. Isin, E. F. (2012). Citizens Without Nations. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 30(3), 450–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kleingeld, P. (1999). Six Varieties of Cosmopolitanism in Late Eighteenth-Century Germany. Journal of the History of Ideas, 60(3), 505–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Legum, C. (1965). Pan-Africanism: A Short Political Guide. Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
  18. Marable, M. (1987). African and Caribbean Politics from Kwame Nkrumah to Maurice Bishop. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  19. Masolo, D. A. (1994). African Philosophy in Search of Identity. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Mbembe, A. (2001). African Modes of Self Writing. Identity, Culture and Politics, 2(1), 1–39.Google Scholar
  21. Nancy, J.-L. (1991). The Inoperative Community. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  22. Nkrumah, K. (1961). I Speak of Freedom: A Statement of African Ideology. London: William Heinemann Ltd.Google Scholar
  23. Nkrumah, K. (1963). Africa Must Unite. London: Panaf Books.Google Scholar
  24. Nyerere, J. K. (1967). The Dilemma of the Pan-Africanist. In J. K. Nyerere, D. Nicol, & R. Cranford Pratt (Eds.), The Inaugural Lectures of the University of Zambia. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Nyerere, J. K. (1973). Freedom and Development: A Selection from Writings and Speeches 1968–1973. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Padmore, G. (1972). Pan-Africanism or Communism: The Coming Struggle for Africa. New York: Anchor.Google Scholar
  27. Rao, R. (2012). Postcolonial Cosmopolitanism: Making Place for Nationalism. In J. Tripathy & S. Padmanabhan (Eds.), The Democratic Predicament: Cultural Diversity in Europe and India (pp. 165–187). New Delhi: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Sankara, T. (2007). T. Sankara Speaks: The Burkina Faso Revolution  1983–1987. Canada: Pathfinder Press.Google Scholar
  29. Senghor, L. S. (1962). Nationhood and the African Road to Socialism. Paris: Présence Africaine.Google Scholar
  30. Smyth, A., & Seftel, A. (1998). The Story of Julius Nyerere Africa’s Elder Statesman. Dar Es Salam: Mkukina Nyota Publishers.Google Scholar
  31. Stephens, A. C., & Squire, V. (2012a). Citizenship Without Community? Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 30(3), 434–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stephens, A. C., & Squire, V. (2012b). Politics Through a Web: Citizenship and Community Unbound. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 30(3), 551–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Van Niekerk, B. V. D. (1970). The African Image in the Work of Senghor. Cape Town: A.A. Balkema.Google Scholar
  34. Wilder, G. (2015). Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Young, T. (2003). Readings in African Politics. Oxford and London: James Currey & The International African Institute.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gemma K. Bird
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

Personalised recommendations