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The 15th General Assembly: Africa and the Crisis of Globalisation


Date: 17th – 21st December, 2018
Venue: Dakar, Senegal

Call for Abstracts and Panel Proposals

The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) 
is pleased to announce its 15th General Assembly that will be held in Dakar, 
Senegal from the 17th to 21st December 2018. The theme chosen for the General 
Assembly is ‘Africa and the Crisis of Globalization. The CODESRIA General 
Assembly is a triennial gathering of scholars and academics drawn from the 
Social Sciences and Humanities in Africa and its Diaspora. On the back of the 
scientific sessions of the Assembly, a meeting of members who are in good 
standing will be held to review the functioning of the Council in the period 
since the 14th Assembly and decide the broad agenda to be pursued for the 
subsequent three years.

The coming session of the Assembly will be an opportune moment for scholars in 
Africa and its diaspora to revisit the issue of globalization which has been a 
subject of intellectual engagements in the last two decades or more. This is 
mainly because of the continued contradictions that the process of 
globalization has engendered especially with regard to the question of 
Africa’s development. From the outset, globalisation promised a greater 
opening up of the world to the movement of people, goods, services and ideas. 
This was captured in the image of the transformation of the world into a 
‘global village’; marked by greater prosperity for all, more vibrant 
economies, greater democratization and respect for rights.

However, the current versions of globalization have had a distinctly neoliberal 
inflection, representing a significant change in the historical process of 
globalization in which Africa played a key role even if with devastating 
implications on the continent. The free market that globalization continues to 
promote as the pathway to the ‘global village’ has facilitated the 
shrinking of the state and its regulatory capacities with adverse consequences 
worldwide. Deregulation and privatization sought to reduce the state to its 
barest minimum, and transformed state welfare institutions into narrow 
‘market-enhancing institutions’ in the name of efficiency. The zest with 
which various compulsions have been deployed to pave the path for the free 
market suggests the presence of political and social goals that go beyond the 
purely economic and utilitarian objectives that are often voiced and 
illustrates the ‘choicelessness’ embedded in the promises of globalization. 
The political and sociological fields that inspire the idea of globalization 
and the pathways that are portrayed as leading toward it are, for the reasons 
above, worthy of further intellectual engagement.

Given the persisting trends in poverty and escalation of economic inequalities, 
occasioned by the economic and socio-political thrusts of globalization, the 
push back against the core tenets of the globalization process being witnessed 
worldwide, even from constituencies that initially promoted the process is not 
surprising. Efforts at re-territorializing identities are widespread, including 
from the heartlands of the push for globalization. Obscurantist and 
iconoclastic movements that promise a return to mythical states of purity and 
plenty, be they driven by ethnic or racial motivations, thrive with devastating 
consequences on lives and societies and on basic principles of human dignity. 
Some of the central locations from which the ideas of globalization projected 
itself are leading the pushback against globalization as is seen most visibly 
in the building of walls, both physical, institutional and ideological but 
often camouflaged as attempts to restore lost glory and greatness. Ironically, 
the state, which was targeted by free market advocates in pursuit of 
globalization is often the object of attacks by the victims of globalization 
who blame it for not shielding them against the worst excesses of the market. 
While some portray these problems as pathologies that are inherent to the 
process of globalization, others venture that they are the results of 
globalization not being pursued to its ultimate end. The causal nature of the 
relations between some of these phenomena and the process of globalization, 
which they have coincided with, deserve greater attention.Africa has been at 
the centre of globalization both in its historical and current manifestations; 
significantly influencing and being influenced by the process. Without doubt, 
Africa, along with other locations in the global South, have often been roped 
into processes that have not always been to their benefit. But the 
heterogeneity of the continent requires a focus on the varied ways in which 
diverse constituencies in Africa have connected to, participate in, resisted 
and are influenced by globalization processes. Class, sectoral, sub-regional 
and linguistic difference and the rural-urban divide all come to the fore in 
efforts to understand how Africa is located in globalization. The question of 
generations and gender are critical to understanding how Africa shapes, and is 
in turn shaped, by globalization processes. The historically informed 
interrogation of the location of Africa in globalization is one that is 
deserving of continued scholarly focus.

The variegated ways in which diverse segments of the continent are located in 
and impacted by globalization processes influence longstanding efforts to 
define and shape the future of the continent in an evolving world. The African 
Union’s Agenda 2063 and global plans, including the Sustainable Development 
Goals, are only the latest examples of these efforts. These official visions 
and agendas co-exist with unofficial plans and grassroots efforts to bring the 
world together that suggest existence of multiple visions of 
‘globalization’. The investigation of the myriad ways in which 
globalization is thought of, and the politics through which certain visions get 
valorised at the expense of others that are consequently marginalized. More 
importantly, the upsurges to resist the adverse aspects of globalization in 
Africa calls for greater intellectual and policy analysis.

The meetings of the CODESRIA General Assembly have over the years been spaces 
for rich discussions of the socio-economic and political trends affecting 
development on the continent. The 15th General Assembly will continue with this 
trend and provide participants the space to interrogate the history, crisis and 
opportunities of globalization to Africa. Scholars are encouraged to examine 
the current conjuncture, account for the challenges of globalisation and to 
critically discuss alternatives to dominant narratives of globalisation that 
are in significant states of crisis today. Below are sub-themes that should 
pre-occupy scholars wishing to participate in debates at the Assembly:

i. Globalisation, its itinerary and iterations
ii. Africa in the iterations of globalisation
iii. Pan-Africanism and African regional integration
iv. The African nation-state and globalization
v. Peace, security and Africa’s geopolitics
vi. Planning, policy processes and Africa’s globalization
vii. Globalisation and Africa’s economic transformation
viii. Globalization and Africa’s changing ecology
ix. African women and experiences of globalization
x. African youth and experiences of globalisation
xi. Globalization and trafficking in and around Africa
xii. Religion, fundamentalisms and globalization
xiii. Africa in the global production of knowledge
xiv. The Humanities in rethinking globalization
xv. Science and innovation under globalization

Scholars wishing to be considered for participation in the 15th Assembly as 
paper presenters or convenors of panels are invited to send abstracts or panel 
proposals for consideration by the CODESRIA Scientific Committee by 15th April 
2018. Successful applicants will be expected to submit full papers for a second 
round of review by 1st July 2018. The selected participants in the GA will be 
informed in August 2018. Abstracts for paper presentation should not exceed 600 
words while panel proposals should not exceed 1,200 words. Each should clearly 
indicate the sub-theme in which the paper or panel is located.

The Council has created a portal on the website through which all abstracts and 
panel proposals will be submitted. Applicants are requested to use the 
following link http://codesria.org/generalassembly15 to submit their proposals. 
The portal will be open for submission effective 16th March 2018.

For further information on the 15th CODESRIA General Assembly contact:

The Office of the Executive Secretary
BP 3304, CP 18524
Dakar, Senegal
Tel: +221 - 33 825 9822/23
Fax: +221- 33 824 1289
Email: general.assem...@codesria.org

See more<http://codesria.org/spip.php?article2843&lang=en>

CODESRIA - Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop X Canal IV BP 3304, CP 18524, Dakar, Senegal 
Phone: (221) 33 825 98 22 ou (221) 33 825 98 23 Fax: (221) 33 824 12 89


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