12 Oct 2022


International Relations: A Multidisciplinary Field

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Academic level: University

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International Relations is a multidisciplinary field with a global outlook. In the book, Global Shadows: Africa in the Neoliberal Order by James Ferguson, the author engages in a critical review of common conceptions surrounding globalization, modernity, and development in Africa. According to Ferguson, the new interest in globalization and culture has influenced how anthropologists think about modernity in Africa. Africa has been notably absent in the globalization debate since it does not fit into its ideologies of cultural homogeneity and transnational flow of capital ( Ferguson, 2006)

Recent flurry of new interest in globalization has made anthropologists expand the scope of theories of globalization, their impact, and reach. The new interest in globalization has initiated an attention on charting and identification of the comprehensive shifts in culture and political financial system that forms it, as well as new ways of thinking about ethnography embracing all social scales and networks. Globalization has also produced dynamic research in anthropology that plays interest in the link between history and culture at the regional, local, and national level as they interlace through transnational interactions ( Ferguson, 2006). 

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T he new thinking on globalization ignores its meaning for Africans because ideologies on modernity are formed based on social revolution, and people are on the same track for equal political and economic rights. For Africa, modernity is not a developmental path, due to the economic hardships. Africans celebrate their culture but the rest of the world considers it primitive. The new thinking on modernity is a categorical subordination, but fo Africans it is a method of recognizing the link between culture and economics. In summary, new thinking on modernity should document cultural appropriation to suit the local understanding of modernity for Africans. 


Ferguson, J. (2006).    Global shadows: Africa in the neoliberal world order . Durham (N.C.): Duke University Press. 

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