lundi 9 avril 2012

« Jeux d’influences en Somalie »

Vous êtes conviés au quinzième numéro des cafés stratégiques. Jeudi prochain ce sera en effet au tour de la Corne de l’Afrique d’être mise à l’honneur, avec Roland Marchal, chargé de recherche au CNRS/CERI Sciences Po, pour évoquer les jeux d’influences observables en Somalie.
Afin d’aiguiser votre appétit, je vous soumets ce soir deux choses : 

- à votre curiosité joffre tout d’abord le billet promotionnel préparé par Sonia sur Good Morning Afrika, de même que plus largement le blog lui-même avec ses nombreux et très intéressants articles ; 

- à votre sagacité j’offre enfin ces quelques lignes sur l’Afrique du grand maître ès-RI américain Kenneth Waltz :
You know, I did not set out to be an international politics person. I started out to be a political philosopher; but there were not any jobs available, and they were in the field of international politics, so that is how I ended up in international politics. When I did, my wife and I realized you cannot pay attention to everything, so I said to myself “one continent that I am going to leave aside is Africa.” I preferred to concentrate on Europe and China. I did a pretty good deal of work on China because I saw it ripe to become one of the most important parts of the world of which I knew nothing. So, I proceeded to do a lot of work on China in order to know something about it. But Africa is kind of a blank spot for me, apart from casual observation. Even though, I would say that the whole notion of anarchy applies very well to Africa.
In fact, a criticism people used to make to me was that Africa was clearly an anarchic arena, and yet African states did not fight much among themselves. How, then, would a Realist like myself explain that? Well, I did by invoking Turney-High’s book in anthropology, which was published—I believe—in the 1920s. There, he made the very valid point that countries have to obtain a certain level of self-consciousness as being a political entity, and a certain level of competence before they are able to fight one another. Turney-High’s illustration was very clear with his study of the peoples he referred to as the “Californians,” who were such a primitive people that they did not have the ability to form groups or fight as a group. A consciousness and competence at a certain level is needed before a group is able to systematically impose on another group—whether in the form of warfare or in other ways. I think that, for a long time, Africa was in that condition, and that, as it proceeds away from that condition, African countries will be able to fight wars against one another. In a historical sense, though, that is an implication of advancement.
in Theory Talk #40: Kenneth Waltz - Economic Theory & International Politics
Rendez-vous jeudi 12 avril 2012 de 19h à 21h (entrée libre), Café Le Concorde, métro Assemblée nationale, 239, boulevard Saint-Germain 75007 Paris.

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