The organisers of the proposed network wish to place the following core principles at the heart of our activities.
Beyond the nation-state
African studies has moved beyond the centrality of the nation-state and its institutions as the primary basis of social science and historical research. In exploring themes of democracy and power, we are interested in how these are understood by Africans from a range of cultural and social perspectives.
The local and the global
We reject the idea of Africa as a ‘place apart’, rather seeing it as central to processes of global and transnational social and political change. Africa has shaped, and been shaped by, global process of change and must be understood in this way. Simultaneously, we emphasise the importance of locality and the diversity of African societies, communities and issues.
Beyond the academy
We are committed to engagement with non-academic issues and activities. This is driven not by a desire to meet an externally imposed ‘impact’ agenda but rather by our belief that our intellectual activity has much to contribute to society in both Africa and the UK. We will seek to work with African disaspora communities in Yorkshire and with non-academic partners in Africa to address issues of concern arising out of the economic, political and social situation in particular African countries.