Beyond Disciplines: African Perspectives on Theory and Method

To what extent can we go beyond disciplinary boundaries to produce knowledge on Africa that has emancipatory and transformational power? Beyond Disciplines: African Perspectives on Theory and Method, attempts to address this question. Among the critical issues covered by contributors to the book include the limitations of Eurocentric approaches on illuminating and explaining African social contexts; the value of critical African scholarship to our understanding of the continent’s political economy of development; the descriptive, explanatory, and predictive potency of interpretivist emancipatory approaches vis-à-vis positivist developmental ones; the significance of gender power analysis for understanding women’s experiences of violent extremism; application of social science research across research communities on the critical issue of environmentalism; as well as theorising the confluence of internal displacement, weaponisation and agency of women and violent extremism. The book, authored by scholars from multiple disciplinary backgrounds based at institutions across three continents, underscores the imperative value of transformational epistemologies for Africa and demonstrates that the generation of such epistemologies is contingent upon collaborative knowledge-production projects across epistemic communities.

Shadrack Wanjala Nasong’o, PhD, is a Professor of International Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. His research interest lies in democratisation, identity politics, social conflict, governance and development. Nasong’o has been honoured with the Rhodes College’s Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity, and the Ali Mazrui Award for Research and Scholarly Excellence from the University of Texas at Austin.

Eka Ikpe, PhD, is a Reader and Director, African Leadership Centre at King’s College London. Her themes of interest include developmentalism, industrial development and structural transformation, peacebuilding, post-conflict reconstruction and the economic costs of conflict and creative economies.

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“This volume, Beyond Disciplines: African Perspectives on Theory and Method edited by Wanjala Nasong’o and Eka Ikpe, is a timely magnum opus that is bound to generate groundbreaking African-centered and theory-driven ontological, epistemological, and methodological debates needed in colleges and universities globally, particularly in Africa” – Korwa, G. Adar, University of Botswana, Gaborone.

“While critiquing Eurocentric epistemologies, this book addresses crucial theoretical and methodological issues of concern for scholars working on Africa. It sets the goal and agenda of developing effective epistemological strategies for conducting research and producing knowledge that is committed to transforming and emancipating the African people.” – Samuel Zalanga, Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota.

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