Speaker: Karen Smith, Associate Professor, University of Cape Town and University Lecturer, Leiden University
Abstract: Reflection about the current or imminent transformation of world order has become the latest fixation of scholars of international relations. In the burgeoning literature about changing and future world order, most conceptions and discussions of the changing order are pre-occupied with two things: anxiety about the future role of the United States and the unpredictability of China’s agenda. While some attention is also paid to Europe, India and Brazil, the rest of the world is largely overlooked, and Africa in particular is either ignored entirely or treated as a footnote. This lecture aims to provide some views on the role Africa plays in the process of global reordering, and also how Africa will be affected by it. Coxian critical theory provides a useful entry point into helping us think about different aspects of world order. The triangular model, consisting of material forces, institutions and ideas enables us to explore the nature of the existing world order, its origin, and the possibilities for transformation.