Global Justice School 2003

Globalization and political recomposition I:

What role for states? The question of Sub-Saharan Africa

Jean Nanga


I. Introduction

Defining the subject

The method: the principle of combined and uneven development


II. Nature of African states

1) Definitions of the state

a) classical bourgeois

b) classical Marxist

2) The colonial state

a) Africa in emerging capitalism: the unconscious African contribution

b) Capitalism in Africa

The liberal division of Africa: from the Berlin Conference (1884-1885) to the end of the First World War

Colonialism and totalitarianism

Indigenous capital

3) The transition to neocolonialism

Structural organisation of colonial society

Colonialism and ethnology: negritude, Black consciousness, etc.

Colonial democracy: indigenous parties and co-administration of the colonial State


II. The neocolonial state

1) Definition of neocolonialism

2) The African state and Keynesianism

a) economic growth under dependency

b) the underdeveloped welfare state

c) apparent political diversity

3) The crisis of the neocolonial state

a) Negative growth and critical debt levels

b) Neoliberal structural adjustment


III. The "democratization" of Africa

1)Death of the welfare state and ruling fractions' loss of legitimacy

2) Neoliberal democracy

a) End of constitutional apartheid, sovereign national conferences and alternation in power

b) Democratization and impoverishment

c) Identities, ethnicism and neoliberalism: "democracy African style"

3)The "African Renaissance"

-NEPAD and the African Union

-Are Fanon and Cabral relevant today?


IV. For a different democratization

1) Political democracy and human rights

a) Contradictions of bourgeois democracy: multi-party systems and dismantling of historic conquests

b) Marx, or, beyond the UN

2) Social movements and anti-capitalism

3) Pan-Africanism and revolutionary Internationalism