DR. BAFFOUR AWUAH
AFRICA: A PAWN IN INTERNATIONAL POWER POLITICS
A Review By Prof. Boateng
The study undertaken in the book AFRICA: A Pawn in International Power Politics offers abundant genuflection and credence to the unique factors and forces that have putatively contributed to the economic and political underdevelopment of Africa.
In idyllic terms, the book fills a major gap in our understanding of the tumultuous and at times dramatic changes that have occurred in African states right after political independence. Lucidly written, persuasively argued, and sensibly conceived, Baffour Awuah’s book will not only serve as a general introduction to Africa’s place in international power politics, but its informative discussions and penetrating analysis and comprehensive treatment of the institutionalized marginalization of Africa will be equally valuable to the specialist and general reader alike.
Baffour Awuah uses a straightforward and a traditional paradigmatic approach to address the major contending theories often used to explain Africa’s development malaise. Central to those arguments is one related to Intelligence Quotience. After thorough presentation of the arguments presented by western pseudo-scientific scholars who attribute Africa’s backwardness to lack of Intelligence Quotience, the author wasted no time to succinctly present corresponding critiques which strongly dismiss this controversial argument. A major deficiency of the Intelligence Quotience argument is the cultural bias inherent in the formulation and application of this problematic scientific methodology. In its place, the author cogently argues, rather convincingly, that Africa’s development debacle may well be attributable to a set of external hegemonic factors and forces including those relating to colonialism.
This Marxist structuralist paradigm defies the conventional perspectives of modernization theorists who look at the lack of societal capacity as responsible for Africa’s underdevelopment. Instead, the structuralists attribute Africa’s underdevelopment to the global process of exploitation. Concomitantly, the author argues that the Cold War, Détente II, the New World Order, geopolitical penetration of Africa, globalization as well as the application of neoconservative policies towards Africa have all contributed to Africa’s economic and political difficulties. The truth of the matter is that Africa’s underdevelopment is the result of both internal and external factors. In the end, the author did an impressive job citing some diverse roots and aspects of international law to buttress the legality of reparations for Africa by arguing that colonialism should be treated as a crime against humanity.
The book constitutes a thorough and concise exploration into the varied currents that have shaped Africa’s economic and political underdevelopment and the inevitable exploitation accompanying the resultant asymmetrical political and economic relationships with developed countries. The author provides engaging clarity and coherence into the treatment of this complex subject. This is a marvelous introduction to an exciting area of research.
Baffour Awuah boldly takes up many controversial positions with an air of authority that commands respect and academic integrity. It is extremely difficult to think of a better overview of the subject for anyone new to it. His concise analysis of the central issues, the usage of key examples, and the description of the notorious derilections of Africa’s place in international politics are clearly depicted.
The book provides basic knowledge of the undoubted manifestation of the marginalization of Africa on the world stage.
The author did an unquestionably superlative job of bringing all the key issues together in a balanced way. The availability of clearly organized materials offer easy insights into contemporary political, economic, and social data analysis. An added advantage of the book is that, not only is it broadly encompassing, it is also challenging and timely and has made a major contribution to an understanding of the multiple political and economic forces at work on the African continent.
Undoubtedly, this book will incite enthusiasm and steadily provoke intellectual debates on Africa’s underdevelopment.
It also provides an indigenous voice to the analysis of Africa’s marginalized position in international power politics. By and large, the book is an excellent resource because it contains a wealth of information for both interested specialist and layman, and is exemplary in its accuracy. In addition to relevant research information and a careful contextualization, this study analyzes in depth the conceptual, theoretical, instrumental, methodological as well as ideological issues as they relate to Africa’s marginalized place in international power politics.
The text contributes to the fields of political science, international law, sociology, development, economics, and international relations by bringing together materials from these varied areas to enhance an understanding of the marginal role Africa plays on the world’s political and economic stage.
The author has written a world-class introduction to an exciting field and this book should be recognized as the textbook on Africa’s marginalized position in international power politics.