Call for Submissions

Call for Papers for a SPECIAL ISSUE for Nokoko 6:
Elections and Electoral Politics in Africa: Movements forward, backwards or nowhere?

As many as 12 African countries will hold national elections in 2017. They follow about 18 in 2015 and 20 in 2016. This is apart from the numerous local elections and a fair number of national referendums that have recently taken place or will soon occur. Within a 3-year period almost every country on the continent will therefore have participated in electoral processes; most of them under systems of liberal democracy.

This is a very stark change from the previous five decades. 1952-1970 saw 28 successful coups, and by the late 1980s the majority of African countries faced single-party systems, many with leaders that had been around for more than 2 decades. Most of these were, however, swept aside between 1989 and 1994 as no less than 27 African countries underwent “third wave” democratizations spurred by a changing geopolitical order, the rise of civil society organizations and structural adjustment programs. At the crux of these latter changes were the ‘good governance’ policies of the IMF and the World Bank that were intended to liberalize African economies and address state corruption. The impact of these reforms has been decidedly mixed across the continent. While some countries hold free and fair elections with minimal incident, others are plagued by widespread intimidation of opposition groups, silencing of the press and civil society, and little independent oversight.

More recently, many African states have witnessed elections that have challenged the legitimacy of entrenched nationalist movements that still hold power, both through the ballot box and through popular mobilization. For a time, the monumental upheavals of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ and ‘African Summer’ seemed to generate new political currents. The failure of these movements to alter state power and institute more democratic forms of rule demands further analysis.

Given that Africa is in the midst of so many electoral moments, Nokoko is looking for submissions that assess and reflect on the politics of elections in Africa. We are looking for works that interrogate the many meanings and manifestations of electoral processes on the continent, and contributions may seek to engage with:

  • The electoral experiences of 2016/2017: lessons and prospects
  • Everyday politics vs. electoral politics
  • Increasing inequality, corruption and the elections
  • Youth movements, party politics, and new spaces of opposition
  • The politics of ethnicity in elections
  • The decline, revitalization or hegemonic strategies of nationalist movements
  • Reassessing the ‘Third Wave’ democratizations of the 80s and 90s
  • Constitutional change and elections
  • NGOs, electoral monitoring and rhetorics of ‘imperialism’
  • Class politics and the elections
  • Shrinking ‘civil society’ space and elections
  • Trajectories of the ‘Arab Spring’ and the ‘African Summer’
  • The African Union and elections
  • Apathy, disengagement and the political process
  • The role of the military in the elections
  • Refugees, IDPs and elections
  • Social media influence on elections
  • African elections and the press

We look forward to papers that critically engage with any number of these issues. Submissions should be between 7,000 and 9,000 words, or shorter for creative writing and poetry contributions. Articles should follow Nokoko’s submission guidelines.

Please email a 250-word abstract of your article to the editors by April 1st. If selected, final manuscripts will be due by September 1st.

Special Issue editors:
Toby Moorsom (Carleton): toby.moorsom@carleton.ca
Wangui Kimari (York University): wkimari@yorku.ca
Christopher Webb (University of Toronto): chris.webb@mail.utoronto.ca

Nokoko 7 Call for Papers

(en français ici)

We invite submissions for Nokoko 7’s special issue on the African Philosophy: Its Paradigms and Historiography, with guest editor Professor Dia Mbwangi Diafwila Daniel, Ph.D.

This special issue invites contributions to examine either the historiography of African philosophy or to discuss the dominant paradigms in African philosophy. Both of these themes complement each other.

On the first theme, the historiography of African philosophy, the special issue we will explore the ways in which African philosophy has been organized and ordered by examining questions such as: How has the history of African philosophy been written since the last century? Where and when did African philosophy start—with ancient Egypt and Ethiopia, with the publication of The Bantu Philosophy of Placide Tempels in 1945, or with other defining moments? When was the first book of African philosophy written? How has the history of African philosophy being written now?

Four main ways the history of African philosophy texts are critically produced today:

  1. The Panoramic Historiography of Nkombe Oleko and Alfonse de Smet.
  2. The Metaphilosophical Historiography of Odera Oruka and Hountodji.
  3. The Egyptological Historiography of Cheik Anta Diop, Bilolo Mubabinge and Théophile Obenga.
  4. The Systematic Historiography of Kinyongo Jeki , Grégoire Biyogo , Hubert Mono Ndjana , F. Ochieng-Odhiambo , Oguejiofor J. Obi , Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu , Kwasi Wiredu and Barry Hellen.

We welcome submissions that engage with these historiographies

For the second theme, the dominant paradigms in African philosophy, we will explore
historically the most known paradigms in African philosophy.

We agree with Kanu that “The issue of the History of African philosophy is strongly linked to the problem of methodology.” But for us this theoretical problem cannot be reduced to the question of orature and collective thought because of the rich literature in African philosophy we have now. Today we need to identify the different theoretical models in African philosophy. This is why the second theme will study the main paradigms used by African philosophers in the production of their philosophies. This is one of the great critical challenges in the contemporary African philosophy.

It is time to articulate systematically the paradigmatic approach of African philosophy. In order to explore methodically and systematically the principal theoretical models of African
philosophy, we invite contributions that examine the most known methods used by African
philosophers—from Critical Racial Theory in Panafricanism and Negritude political philosophies, to the sage philosophy construction. African Philosophy can be classified in two main models: the traditional or recontructivist models and the modern or deconstructivist (critical) models. Before, in between, and beyond the development of these two paradigms, different methods of doing and writing philosophy in African have taken place. We seek to identify these models and present them in a systematic and rigorous way. The end of this research is to build a paradigmology of African philosophy.

Submissions should be between 7,000 and 9,000 words, or shorter for creative writing and poetry submissions. Articles should follow Nokoko’s submission guidelines.

All articles will undergo an external review.

Please send submissions to nokoko@carleton.ca by September 1, 2017.