par Raineri, Luca;Baldaro, Edoardo
Référence Rivista italiana di scienza politica
Publication Publié, 2021-11-01
Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : The Global IR research agenda lays emphasis on the marginalised, non-Western forms of power and knowledge that underpin today's international system. Focusing on Africa, this article questions two fundamental assumptions of this approach, arguing that they err by excess of realism - in two different ways. First, the claim that Africa is marginal to international relations (IR) thinking holds true only as long as one makes the whole of IR discipline coincide with the Realist school. Second, the Global IR commitment to better appreciate 'non-Western' contributions is ontologically realist, because it fails to recognise that the West and the non-West are dialectically constitutive of one another. To demonstrate this, the article first shows that Africa has moved from the periphery to the core of IR scholarship: in the post-paradigmatic phase, Africa is no longer a mere provider of deviant cases, but a laboratory for theory-building of general validity. In the second part, the Sahel provides a case for unsettling reified conceptions of Africa's conceptual and geographical boundaries through the dialectical articulation of the inside/outside dichotomy. Questioning the 'place' of Africa in IR - both as identity and function - thus paves the way to a 'less realist' approach to Global IR.