A diegetic analysis of the scholarly works of six ATWS/ASRF women: Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, Theodora Ayot, Doyin Coker-Kolo, Rita Kiki Edozie, Mueni Wa Muiu, and Mojubaolu Olufunke Okome.
In this essay, I employ the diegetic method to examine the scholarly works of six Association of Third World Studies (ATWS) and African Studies and Research Forum (ASRF) female professionals--namely, Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, Theodora Ayot, Doyin Coker-Kolo, Rita Kiki Edozie, Mueni wa Muiu, and Mojubaolu O1ufunke Okome. The major purpose of the paper is to highlight the academic work of some of our leading female scholars. This is in line with the tradition of the ATWS and the ASRF--the latter being an affiliate organization of the former--that pride themselves in promoting total equality between the sexes and other social groups in all of their activities. These scholars' academic merit is demonstrated by examining their analytical styles and subjectivity and objectivity contestations. They are the first six female professionals of the ATWS/ASRF selected for review as part of a larger book project because of their substantive research activities; early tenure and promotion; and holding key positions in the ASRF, ATWS and/or other major academic organizations.
In essence, the essay deviates from the vexing and persistent practice of marginalizing female scholars. For example, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Susumu Tonegawa, a Nobel laureate and director of the Picower Center for Learning and Memory, told Alia Karpova that he would not interact or collaborate with her, or serve as her mentor, if she accepted a job at MIT, and that members of his research group would refuse to work with her as well. Karpova, touted as one of the most promising young neuroscientists, had to turn down the job. The controversy became especially sensitive at MIT, which has been a focal point for accusations of bias against female scientists for over a decade. Seven years before the Karpova incident, the institute acknowledged in a report that it had discriminated against women, setting in motion a new movement for academic women. In a follow-up report three years later, female academics at MIT stated that they still felt marginalized. (1)
In the following sections, I begin with a discussion of the methodology that guides the essay. This is followed by an analysis of the works of each of the selected intellectuals. After that, a synthesis of the findings is presented. In the end, a conclusion is drawn based on the findings.
THE DIEGETIC METHOD
The diegetic method, as I have discussed elsewhere following the work of Cesare Segre, (2) is a literary analytical, or narrativity, approach conceptualized as a mediated linguistic realization, whose scope it is to communicate a series of events to one or more interlocutors and to do so in such a manner that the interlocutors will participate in this knowledge, and so widen their own pragmatic context. A narrative content and its realization, then, may or may not be diegetic, which may be verbal but also nonverbal, or not merely verbal. Thus, a diegetic narrative is an invariant which can be represented by many variables--hence, possible transpositions from one type of realization to another. It is an autonomous referent, because, however it is uttered or written, an action will have an unequivocal nature of its own; it is an articulated referent because, among the different actions of a narrative, there exist logical or at least chronological relations and these can be enucleated without taking into account the mode of utterance or writing. The concrete character of the referent, or pseudo-referent should the narration be fictitious, is much more fluid, or it no longer exists when an analyst deals with lyrical, psychological, reflective, and other such contents.
In everyday narration, there exists a possibility of integration from the pragmatic context of data known to the interlocutor. Consequently, the action may also be narrated in an incomplete or disjointed way. It is less important to stress the well-known linguistic idea that everyday narration, as distinct from literary narration, may also have recourse to nonverbal means--gestures, etc.
Apart from the interest of such research for the description and classification of the texts of myth, folklore, and literature, it should be added that analysis of narration immediately showed itself to be a particularly different instrument for the study of discourse. In fact, the signal success in the investigation of discourse meanings is obtained when, as is the case with narration, these meanings or signifiers correspond to actions easily isolated, which are joined together by links of succession or, even better, of causality.
Faced with an action narrated in verbal form or in another mode, both the critic and the linguist cannot avoid repeating the operation which any ordinary listener or reader will carry out. They will mentally reformulate and summarize the content of the narrative discourse. Meta-narrative reformulations are the result, in substance phrases. Even in the case of nonverbal narrations, an observer's reformulations will reduce them to discourse. An attempt may be made to limit to the utmost the arbitrary nature of such paraphrases, but it is impossible to find any more objective way of determining actions. The inevitability of the paraphrase depends on an objective fact: an action cannot be formulated conceptually otherwise than with sentences. It ought to be stated that between the nuclear sentence and the corresponding section of the discourse, no equivalence exists: the nuclear sentence is the content of the discourse section reduced exclusively to what may be considered as action.
Therefore, fundamental here are the concepts of syntagm (the connections between actions along the discoursive or temporal chain) and of paradigm (the semantic correspondence of actions located at different points along the same chain). For syntagm, the most elaborated model, the delineated moments which, in whole or in part, but always in the same order, are to be met within the totality of the tales. Verbal definition of these moments, which are identical with narrative functions, makes it possible to relate to their corresponding categories a whole variety of actions carried out by the characters in the tales.
In a closed model, one can already observe the presence of post hoc, ergo propter hoc--'after this therefore because of this'--sequences (that is, the fallacy of arguing from temporal sequence to a causal relation). In fact, the coherence of a narration hinges not only on the continuity of its actant or actants but also on the consequentiality of its actions (although due weight may be attributed to causal undertakings or events, which will thus occur post hoc but not propter hoc). Hence, the dual presence of each of the following pairs: interdiction and its violation; the attempt to find out something and the transmission of information; deception or fraud by the villain and the hero's reaction to it; fight and victory; marking and recognition. What is obvious here is that the second term of each pair is a corollary of the first.
The range of choices a narrator can make is therefore an extremely wide one. Once she has a subject, a narrator has first and foremost to make a decision on what means she will employ to communicate it: an oral tale, a film, a television play, a comic, a novel, a stage play, etc. Even if the choice for any given narrator is not really an open one, in abstract these and other possibilities do exist, and it is possible to "decant" from one medium to another, even after the communication has been effected. It is unnecessary to insist on the fact that such "decanting" will bring to light, when competencies are well matched, the peculiar character of the different media.
Thus, four types of narration can be delineated, and they depend on the position of the narrator. The first is extradiegetic-heterodiegetic, where the narrator is absent from the tale she narrates. The second is extradiegetic-homodiegetic, where a narrator directly recounts her own tale. The third is intradiegetic-heterodiegetic, where a narrator once removed, thus already a character of a tale, tells stories from which she is absent. The fourth is intradiegetic-homodiegetic, where a narrator once removed tells her own story.
A relatively quicker way to find out whether or not a scholar's works are treated seriously in academia is to do an Internet search with the person's name via GoogleScholar.com and amazon.com, as these two sources will reveal how many of the person's works have been cited and by whom. Approximately 300 of the works of the six ASRF female scholars studied in this essay have been cited numerously by various authors. The list of who is who among intellectuals who have cited these six scholars' works includes Ali A. Mazrui, Toyin Falola, Matthew M. Heaton, Elias K. Bongmba, Oyeronke Oyewumi, Pita O. Agbese, E. Ike Udogu, Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh, Lawrence Ogechukwu Abokoh, Chris Ogbonda, Robert I. Rotherg, Richard L. Sklar, Johnson W. Makoba, E. W. Nafziger, Leslie A. Fadiga-Stewart, V. Kvaca, Julius O. Ihonvbere, C. Koutra, Tangie Nsoh Fonchingong, Cynthia Sims, Terrence Scott and Joseph Calvin Gagnon, Godwin Murunga and Shadrack Wanjala Nasong'o, E. S. Etiono Odhiambo, Christie Okali, Joshia Osamba, and Essi Sutherland-Addy.
In the following subsections, I analyze a sample of each of the six scholars' works using, as stated earlier, the diegetic approach, beginning with a very brief background of the scholar. Due to space constraints, however, only three among the major works of each scholar are analyzed. Co-authored books are not included in the selection, mainly because of the greater propensity for co-author or contributor influences in striving to achieve textual coherence and cohesion.
It should also be noted that with a larger number of works for each of these scholars, it will be possible to do a comparative analysis of their analyses--this will be akin to a meta-comparative analysis. To do so with only three works from each scholar will be quite perfunctory. For more on the requirements, strengths, and limitations on the various comparative methodologies (case-oriented, variable-oriented, Durkheimian vs. Weberian, causal inference, Boolean, research designs, simulation for program evaluation, and cross-national), see my forthcoming book titled Theory, Research Methodology, Comparative Analysis and Suggestions for Using the Pluridisciplinary Method being published by the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) based in Dakar, Senegal.
Peyi Soyinka-Airewele is Associate Professor of Politics at Ithaca College in New York. Soyinka-Airewele took her BS (First Class Honors) and MS both in International Relations from the University of Ife (which was later renamed Obafemi Awolowo University) in Nigeria and her Phl) in International Studies from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. Her areas of interest comprise sociopolitical memory, the politics of disaster, critical development theory, human fights, and the politics of African cinema. She is the author of several books, many book chapters, numerous journal and conference essays, and many lectures. She serves on several editorial boards and many university committees. She has won numerous fellowships, grants and academic honors. She also is the Past President of the ATWS, having served as its President in 2008-2009.
The three works examined for Soyinka-Airewele are (1) "Western Discourse and the Socio-Political Pathology of Ethnicity in Contemporary Africa," (3) (2) "Subjectivities of Violence and the Dilemmas of Transitional Governance," (4) and (3) "Postcolonial Angst and the Nigerian Scholarly Estate." (5) In "Western Discourse and the Socio-Political Pathology of Ethnicity in Contemporary Africa," Soyinka-Airewele demonstrates that Western attitudes, myths and images significantly affect the contemporary historical drama in Africa, especially in constructing ethnicity as a stigma and sociopolitical malady. She argues that the visual, theoretical and empirical treatment of ethnicity, race and social divisions by the international media, Western intellectual and foreign policy establishment and the role of racial attitudes in such a treatment have influenced much of the modern African political and intellectual class.
Soyinka-Airewele uses a cross-disciplinary method to capture and covey the salient nuances of ethnicity in Western discourse and their implications for African sociopolitical development. She focuses on four major Issues: (1) the power of representation as a means to dominate, (2) the negative rendering of African ethnicity in Western media and how it influences such discourse on the political and intellectual elite on the continent, (3) the crisis of ethnic related state violence driven partly by the way African ethnicity is framed, and (4) the search for progressive alternatives within the complex socioeconomic and political matrices of the continent. She then suggests that the incessant struggle for sociopolitical reforms in Africa reveals that this is an opportune time to confront the realities of ethnicity, race and other social cleavages head on.
Soyinka-Airewele goes on to critically analyze existing evidence to demonstrate the representation of power, the inscription of differences and the stigmatization of ethnicity in Africa, self-imaging versus reality in Western ethno-evolutionary mythology, stigmatization and the predicament of ethnopolitics in contemporary Africa, and the building of the multi-ethnic state. The substantive findings lead her to conclude that it is simplistic to blame the sociopolitical problems of Africa on the presence of ethnicity, even if the state's response to ethnic loyalties and the manipulation of ethnic identity by political entrepreneurs pose a grave threat to stability. She admits that ethnonationalism remains a critical factor in African development and stability or lack thereof, but she also argues that initiatives to resolve the innate philosophical tensions are more crucial than the mere deprecation of "tribalism." She therefore calls for a multi-dimensional approach through which ethnicity can be elaborated or made to work for development, democracy, community, growth, and political stability. A crucial starting point for such an approach, she suggests, is the celebration of multi-ethnicity in the social education systems. She believes that on such a foundation, the apparatus for conflict resolution, distributive justice and national cohesion can be constructed.
In this study, Soyinka-Airewele employs the extradiegetic-heterodiegetic approach. She is absent from the issue she narrates.
In "Subjectivities of Violence and the Dilemmas of Transitional Governance," Soyinka-Airewele begins with several quotations from Winnie Mandela's book titled Part of My Soul Went With Him (6) to examine a major challenge confronting African countries when faced with the task of reconstituting stable politics in the aftermath of struggles of resistance, sociopolitical claims and communal antagonisms. Soyinka-Airewele's concern is with investigating violence as a force that is encased within the very processes that instigate, generate and facilitate sociopolitical transitions. She explores tentatively the implications of violent force for the struggles to build stable and relatively integrated "nationhoods" in place of violently contested public spaces. She adopts a basic conceptualization of violence as the exertion of physical force with sufficient intensity and intent to cause harm or injury and avoids the more limiting definitions that equate violence with sadism, brutality and cruelty. Her major argument is that while violence is often conceptualized as a means employed by various agencies producing injury, it is very important to understand that significant subjectivities are in turn produced and transformed by violence. She then posits that such cruelties present the most critical issues, tensions and challenges to the peace building projects typically enshrined in the rhetoric of transitional governments.
Drawing from a host of exiting works for evidence, Soyinka-Airewele looks at conflict and the entrenchment of violence, reconstituting identity in the aftermath of violence and resistance, the transforming impact of violence in the political and socio-cultural arenas, the violence of the state, the impact of violence on constituencies of transitional governments, contending with perpetrators of violence, addressing the beneficiaries of violence, responding to the victims of violence, and forms of victim constituency. She concludes by suggesting sustainable, long-term, cost-effective and culturally relevant ways to address the subjectivities of violence. They include new modes of collective and individual treatment of post-traumatic stress syndrome, rehabilitation and re-assimilation of former combatants and victims in communities, facilitation of local communities of remembrance in which alternative narratives and approaches are employed, institutionalization of legal protection of voice and rights, provision of resources for local processes of negotiation, indigenization of mechanisms for rehabilitation and reconstruction, and re-examination of the potential role of social agencies such as the academy.
Soyinka-Airewele again employs the extradiegetic-heterodiegetic approach in this study. She is again absent from the issue she narrates.
In "Postcolonial Angst and the Nigerian Scholarly Estate" Soyinka-Airewele investigates the conflicted sense of role and identity present in Nigerian universities and the sociopolitical arenas within which such conflicts are being negotiated. She notes that within the unfolding political development of African societies, the university has served conflicting functions of legitimization, resistance and social reproductions that mirror the ambivalence of identity of its most critical forces: i.e. scholars, students and their unions. She challenges the prevailing notion that the role played by scholars in popular resistance to the oppressive state has engendered an erosion of the town and gown complex, insisting that this is a misleading understanding of the realities in Nigeria and in countries with similar trajectories. Contrarily, she argues, apart from broad-based coalitions in oppositional politics and democracy advocacy during struggles to transition from the authoritarian state, Nigeria's political dramas have actually, and inadvertently, reinforced a strategic philosophical alienation of the scholarly estate from society. This postcolonial arrangement of relations, she asserts, is informed by a complex set of intersecting pressures and logic that must be taken into account by those who study Nigerian politics.
In this essay, Soyinka-Airewele utilizes existing evidence to discuss colonial legacies and the beginnings of an identity crisis, nationalism and the contested academy, and illusions and realities of the town and gown complex. Her findings lead her to conclude that popular claims to democratic leadership by scholars and universities cannot elude the questions of alienation and repressive reproductions that emerge from the ambivalences of its postcolonial construct. Thus, she calls for recreating institutional frameworks that reposition young scholars in spaces that protect their entitlements to voice and basic fights. She also suggests that such a project must also urgently lend itself to the production of pedagogical and administrative instruments that deal with critical social, intellectual and collective needs while encouraging the creative envisioning of change.
In this study also Soyinka-Airewele utilizes the extradiegetic-heterodiegetic approach in her investigation. She also is absent from the issue she narrates. In sum, this literary analytical approach seems to be dominant in her intellectual writing.
Theodora Ayot is Professor of History and serves on the Faculty Tenure Appeals and Sanctions Committee at North Park University in Chicago, Illinois. Ayot earned her BA in History from Hiram College in Ohio, PGD in Education and MA in History from the University of Nairobi and PhD in History from Kenyata University in Kenya. She is the author of several books, many book chapters, and numerous refereed and other essays, conference papers and lectures dealing with peace and conflict resolution, reconstruction and development, gender issues, health education, African and European history. She has won many research grants, consultancies, teaching and other scholarly and service awards. She also is a member of many scholarly and other organizations and serves as the Treasurer of the ASRF.
The three studies analyzed for Ayot are (1) "Civil Society and Cultural Expressions: Implications for Ethnic Conflicts in Kenya for the Polity," (7) (2) "Kenyan Women Model Growth in Political Maturity and Participation," (8) and (3) "The Nature of Reconstruction and Reconciliation Programs in Rwanda: The Place of Women." (9) Ayot in "Civil Society and Cultural Expressions: Implications for Ethnic Conflicts in Kenya for the Polity" illuminates what is obscured by intellectual and political rationalizations on the notion of "ethnicity." Referring to what was called "ethnic clashes," "tribal clashes," or simply "land clashes" during the transition from one-party rule to multi-party democracy in Kenya, Ayot recounts how the conflict started with pronouncements of some highly placed individuals in the country's government. The ethnic clashes involved attacks and actual killings that were committed by people who appeared to be strangers to the victims as they armed themselves with bows and arrows. The Agikuyu, Kalenjins, Abaluyia, Luo and Abagusii were the major victims. The Kalenjin, which comprises the Nandi, Tugen, Marakwet, Kipsigis and Sabaot, is believed to have started the violence. This is indirect reporting by Ayot that makes clear who the instigators of the "tribal clashes" were, albeit she does not reveal the identity of the actual perpetrators of the violence.
The ambiguity is almost clarified by Ayot when she states that it all started when on September 8, 1992, two Kenyan cabinet ministers, one assistant minister, some members of parliament and several civil servants or civic officials met at Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret and issued threats that precipitated the ethnic eruption in Western, Rift Valley and Nyanza Provinces. The government officials that met in Eldoret are said to have urged the youth in the Rift Valley to ann themselves and drive out the non-Kalenjin-speaking peoples, non-Maasai-speakers and non-Pokot-speakers. The officials also promised to table what they refereed to as the Majimbo Bill in the August house as a means to force all non-indigenous residents out of the Rift Valley. Advocates of multi-party democracy were ordered to leave the province.
This observation confirms Ayot's proposition that in their desperate attempt to realize some form of prophecy that the advent of multipartyism would lead to chaos, some leaders implanted into their people's heads the feeling that there are some groups in Kenya that must be perceived and treated as foreigners. All the people mentioned by Ayot are known to have lived together peacefully and intermarried over a long time and now were being incited against one another and forced to break up their marriage ties and enduring neighborly relations. The evidence she provides indicting some Kenyan national leaders is strong.
From her evidence, it is quite clear that the Kenyan predicament resides not in the existence of multi-ethnicity itself but in the fact that it is those who are responsible to address the national question that are the root cause of incessant political conflicts in the country. As far as "ethnicity" is concerned, it is demonstrably evident that competing Kenyan elites are its authors and not the bearers of what is called ethnic identity. Also, there is nothing intrinsic about ethnic identity, as it can be substituted for by other identities such as religion, race, or regionalism but not nationalism which is by definition transcendent insofar as they do not seek to eliminate existing national boundaries.
This study is extradiegetic-heterodiegetic because Ayot is absent from the tale she narrates. As stated earlier, she engages in indirect reporting that makes clear who the instigators of the "tribal clashes" were, but she does not reveal the identity of the actual perpetrators of the violence despite her attempts to clarify some of the ambiguity.
In "Kenyan Women Model Growth in Political Maturity and Participation," Ayot discusses the factors that led to the election of women in government positions and their manifesto identifying their major areas of concerns. According to Ayot, the multiparty elections of 1992 provided an opportunity and impetus for future democratization processes in Kenya with the establishment of political pluralism. Concomitantly, the transition from one party to multipartyism led to the election of six women to parliament and 50 women councilors nationwide.
Ayot also observes that the elections of 1997 saw a total of 150 women declare their intentions to run for seats in the Kenyan Parliament. Within the party nomination process, however, only 47 of the women were given party symbols to contest the elections. Two prominent women, Charity Ngilu and Professor Wangari Maathai, were among the 15 women candidates that vied for the Kenyan presidency. What is significant about the 1997 elections, according to Ayot, is the fact that for the first time in the country's political history, women were united, formulated their own election manifesto, and insisted that all political parties must address the issues at stake. The manifesto identified critical areas of concern that included (a) agriculture and environment, (b) health, (c) poverty reduction and economic empowerment, (d) violence against women, (e) politics and decision-making, (f) legal reforms, (g) women and special needs, and (h) education. Under each category, the women clarified the major items. Ayot therefore argues that there is no doubt that the 1997 women's election manifesto reflected the degree of political maturity on the part of women as far as their political agendas were concerned. She adds that the women envisioned a Kenyan society in which women and men would come together to tackle the problems and address issues that have impacted the people negatively.
According to Ayot, the December 27, 2002 general elections were a manifestation and configuration of a gender perspective that would help women inform their understanding of the world of politics and political participation as well as how this affects their lives as women. Moreover, she argues, these elections demonstrated the importance of and the need to understand the relationship between ethnicity and politics not only in Kenya, but in the entire African continent. She notes that the elections demonstrated that with determination and firm commitment to democratic principles, Africans could actually rise above ethnicity and embrace unity in diversity and that ethnicity could actually be turned around to produce positive results.
Ayot concludes that Kenyan women have worked very hard and some have had to pay very dearly in order for them to make gains in the political arena. She states that the transition politics of the 1990s revealed the role for women, their successes and limitations in deconstructing the authoritarian system to facilitate more inclusive politics. She adds that women's outstanding victories in the December 27, 2002 elections that sent 17 women to the Kenyan Parliament highlight and demonstrate their gains in the institution of governance. Some of these women became cabinet ministers in the newly formed government while others were appointed to ambassadorial posts in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Here also Ayot is extradiegetic-heterodiegetic because she is absent from the tale she narrates. Her focus is solely on how Kenyan women politicians made gains during a series of elections and were united behind their manifesto in order to stake their claim to the country's politics.
Ayot in "The Nature of Reconstruction and Reconciliation Programs in Rwanda: The Place of Women" interrogates the various reconstruction and reconciliation programs in Rwanda in an effort to assess the degree and the impact of their political, economic and social empowerment of women, and how women have translated and utilized this empowerment to mobilize and sensitize the grassroots as well as national levels as a means of combating the recidivist pressures that are likely to influence the recurrence of conflict. Specifically, Ayot considers the establishment of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) in 1999 as one of the most important programs which the new government of Rwanda instituted in its attempt to deal with the challenging issues emanating from the rejection and violation of the humanistic moral code: Thou shall not kill. She assesses the place of women in the NURC to determine the impact of women's efforts towards reconciliation and reconstruction in post-conflict Rwanda.
Ayot points out that in 1995, Desmond Tutu visited the village of Ntarama, just a few kilometers from the Rwandan capital, Kigali. It is in this village where the Tutsi had been killed in a church. According to Tutu, "The new government had not removed the corpses, so that the church was like a mortuary, with bodies lying as they had fallen the year before during the massacre. The stench was overpowering. Outside the church building was a collection of skulls of some of those who had been brutally done to death--some of the skulls still had pangas (machetes) and daggers embedded in them. I tried to pray. Instead I broke down and wept." But despite this heart rending experience for Desmond Tutu, he was so much humbled when he visited the Nelson Mandela Peace Village, a new settlement that had been built through the efforts of women themselves. The women at the village were all orphans, widows and refugees who had come together to try to forget their ethnic origins in an effort to live together in peace and build a new Rwanda. While visiting the village, Tutu spoke to the women leaders. What impressed him the most was the strength of these women and he reports his encounter and observations: "They (women) said, 'We must mourn and weep for the dead. But life must also go on, we can't go on weeping.' How wonderfully impressive, how indomitable. Over at Ntarama, we might say, there was Calvary, death and crucifixion. Here in the Nelson Mandela Village was Resurrection, new life, new beginning, new hope. Once more it was noteworthy to see how women have this remarkable resilience and an instinct for nurturing life." (10)
Addressing post-conflict Rwanda through the lenses of women, Ayot provides an opportunity to appreciate their incredible sense of leadership that gives hope to their families and the people of Rwanda as doctors across their country's landscape. In Rwanda, women who watched helplessly as their husbands, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, friends and even children were cut down with machetes have been able to pick up the pieces of their broken lives and their broken country and begin a process of rebuilding. Women have demonstrated an amazing strength and courage in the midst of the national tragedy, and it is that inner strength that enables them to survive even the most horrific conditions in which they find themselves.
According to Ayot, in concerted efforts to restore peace in Rwanda, the government of national unity was established and it came into existence as a result of the survivors' desire to transcend the negative images that had led to the genocide. From the time of its inception in 1999, the NURC paid particular attention to issues pertaining to Rwandans, the civil society, efforts to bring Rwandans of all walks of life together and the challenges posed by the prevailing poverty in the country. In order to ensure national cohesion, the government of national unity embarked on a number of strategies:
(a) Ensuring democratic governance: actions to ensure democratic governance since 1994 have included the passing of the genocide law to challenge the impunity which characterized acts of violence in Rwanda for three decades before 1994; adherence to the Arusha Accords of 1993 to guide the composition of the government of national unity and national assembly.
(b) Public service reforms to enhance transparency, efficiency and effectiveness in public service delivery.
(c) Promoting peace, security and unity through reconciliation programs.
(d) Creation of a community police force to enhance security at the local level.
(e) Promoting national dialogue on the country's needs and aspirations through public fora.
(f) Initiation of the decentralized process to facilitate the devolution of administrative responsibilities and supportive to local government units, and consolidation of the structure of local governments.
(g) Provision of social and physical infrastructure in the local administrative units is substantially supported by direct contribution from local communities, a visible evidence of the popularity of representative local government.
(h) Cooperation with the international agencies in monitoring human rights standards and reconstruction. Above all, in a remarkably short time, Rwanda has succeeded in rebuilding a functioning civil society; in particular, strong women's associations, and a free press, and employers and workers associations.
NURC undertook aggressive measures to organize meetings for the various groups of people in the country. Other measures included workshops and conferences whose major themes specifically addressed concerns for national unity and reconciliation. These attempts by the Rwandan government to deal with the post-conflict crisis culminated into the organization of various national summits where Rwandans from all levels of society, including representatives from Rwanda's Diaspora community, were present.
NURC also organized workshops which targeted different segments of the population. The main objective was to give an opportunity for these individuals to undergo "civic re-education" or "solidarity camps"--the ingandos. Demobilized soldiers (from the national army as well as from the exFAR), Interahmwe and other groups that had been repatriated to Rwanda mostly from Eastern Congo, provisionally released prisoners, and others were required to stay at an ingando from six to eight weeks. These individuals were offered courses covering, among other areas, "their socio-economic reintegration into the society." This became a preparatory stage through which an individual could begin to make the journey back to the real world, to the new Rwandan civil society, after the ravages of the war period. It also formed part of the most important initiatives by the Rwandan government in its attempt to rehabilitate and enhance the spirit of national unity and reconciliation among its citizens.
In discussing the NURC from a gender perspective, Ayot points out that when the Rwandan government took a bold step towards the establishment of a government of national unity, it recognized women as a formidable force within the society. Women had been both the providers for the two sides of the conflict. They took care of the sick, the wounded, the elders, the youth and the children. Even those who went on a killing spree returned home to be fed by women as well as those in the refugee camps. Therefore, in an effort to increase the representation of women, for example, in 1999, the government split the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Affairs into the Ministry of Family and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Gender and Promotion of Women. The latter Ministry was charged with the responsibility of developing projects that would see to it that all laws that discriminated against women were reformed. It was also given the responsibility of promoting the education and training of women. Thus, it is not surprising that today women hold the majority in the Rwandan Parliament with 56%, including the Speaker's chair.
The Constitution of Rwanda had allocated 30% of the seats in Parliament to the women. Indeed, with the elections of 2003, a large number of women were elected to that August house. Women garnered six out of the 20 seats in the Senate. On the other hand, in the Lower House, which comprises a total of 80 seats, women were able to garner 39 seats. The Rwandan women, in actual fact, got more votes than what was expected and it even surprised their male counterparts.
The Rwandan tragedy was a wake-up call for the women, as many of them took up new professions just to keep the country running. Women constituted an overwhelming majority in the aftermath of the conflict. Some of the existing estimates have put it at a ratio of seven to one, and this is because of the wanton killing of so many men and the escape of so many others involved in the carnage. During the rebuilding of the country, the women's anguished voices were difficult not to hear, and they became a powerful and credible force for reconciliation.
Some of the prominent women in Rwandan civil society include Donnah Kamashazi, the representative in Rwanda for the United Nations Development Fund for Women. Others include the Chief of Justice of the Supreme Court, the Head of National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, Deputy Police Chief, and those who hold ministerial posts in the government. Like any other world community, gender imbalance is still a major issue in much of Africa; nevertheless, when it comes to parliamentary representation, Rwanda and South Africa as well as Mozambique have deliberately shown a great stride towards the political empowerment of women. This was just the foundation, the beginning, not suggesting that the problems in Rwanda are already solved just because of the presence of women in that August house.
According to Ayot, one of the major achievements on the part of women in Rwanda has to do with the land issues where women and girls had been excluded from inheriting land. According to the July 19, 2000 report by the Secretary General to the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council, under the Rwandan legal system, girls could not inherit land. But as a result of the visit to Rwanda in February of 1999, and building on the earlier work of several non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies, the special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict engaged in a dialogue with the government of Rwanda, urging it to introduce legislation that would allow girls to inherit farms and other properties. These consultative meetings led to the enactment of legislation in November of 1999 by the government which embodied, among others, the rights of girls to inherit land and other properties. The other area of concern that has received significant attention of the international community, Ayot also points out, is the issue of rape as it is perpetuated against girls and women. It was the disturbing and chilling accounts of the plight of the girls and women that led to the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court which defined rape and sexual slavery as both war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Here again Ayot employs the extradiegetic-heterodiegetic technique. Thus, she is absent from the story on the role of Rwandan women in their nation's reconciliation and reconstruction which she eloquently narrates. In essence, like Soyinka-Airewele, the extradiegetic-heterodiegetic approach appears to be dominant in Ayot's intellectual writing.
Doym Coker-Kolo is Associate Dean of the School of Education at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Coker-Kolo received her BA in Educational Administration from the University of Lagos in Nigeria and her MEd and PhD in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. Her research interests include integrative learning, global and multicultural education, and school-community collaborations. She serves as a consultant to the Habitat for Humanity African Program; has participated in numerous workshops, seminars and conferences on global developments; and is the author of several book chapters, many essays published in peer-reviewed and other journals, and conference papers. Courses that she teaches include The Learner and learning Process in a Multicultural Context, and Third World Education and Development Studies Seminar. She participated in Fulbright Hays International Scholar Summer Programs in Brazil (2002) and Southeast Asia (2006). Coker-Kolo, a member of several professional organizations, serves as Treasurer of the Association of Third World Studies (ATWS). Active in community work, she also serves as a mentor in a K-12 school program and as a member of the Board of Directors of New Horizons Habitat for Humanity.
The three texts probed for Coker-Kolo are (1) "A Systems Analysis Approach to Integrating Cultural Diversity into Colleges of Education," (11) (2) "Combating HIV/AIDS," (12) and (3) "Historical Evolution of African Universities: From Pre-Nationalism to Globalization and Internationalization." (13) In "A Systems Analysis Approach to Integrating Cultural Diversity into Colleges of Education," Coker-Kolo begins by stating that the changing demographic representation of students in United States public schools has significant implications for colleges of education. These changes, she argues, make it imperative for colleges of education to produce graduates that possess the knowledge, skills, and sensitivity to deal with diverse student populations. To do so effectively, she calls for teacher educators to develop an understanding of the meaning of cultural diversity and how to effectively integrate it into all facets of their teacher education programs. Such integration processes, she proposes, will include helping candidates to become more diversity mature: i.e. to be comfortable with themselves in order to develop the self-efficacy that will allow them to contribute to the goals of a multicultural society.
Coker-Kolo suggests the systems approach based on the systems analysis theory as a model for integrating cultural diversity in colleges of education. The process of systems analysis, she points out, consists of a sequence of activities that include (a) defining the problem, (b) determining the objectives and criteria for performance, (c) examining alternative plans, and (d) evaluating the chosen alternative in light of resulting outcomes from the process. Employing the systems approach to integrate cultural diversity, Coker-Kolo proffers, will lead to a comprehensive assessment of current diversity efforts in individual colleges of education. Integrating cultural diversity, she adds, will also require collaboration among the systems and subsystems within and outside the college community and, finally, it will lead to the designing of a cultural diversity plan that takes advantage of the values present in the material and human resources possessed by an institution. In the end, Coker-Kolo challenges educators to examine their commitment to promoting cultural diversity and offers a plan to make their programs more multicultural in nature.
In essence, the systems analysis process is an iterative one that cycles repeatedly. The major objective of the approach is the specification of what the system needs to do in order to meet the requirements of end users. The term "systems analysis" is reserved for the study of systems that include the human element and behavioral relationships between the system's human element and its physical and mechanical components, if any. Thus, Coker-Kolo sees systems analysis as a comprehensive approach with a built-in evaluation process that is also cyclical in nature. It has a constant maintenance activity and planning for eventual new solutions as old ones become obsolete. Thus, colleges cannot become complacent with their diversity programs and policies because diversity in the workplace will continue to change. Indeed, the need for the enrichment of all educators' knowledge- and skills-base pertaining to cultural diversity is even more pressing today as demands for closing the student achievement gaps abound.
Evident from this work is that its analytical approach is extradiegetic-heterodiegetic. Not a single place in the text is Coker-Kolo present in terms of the issue she narrates.
Beginning with a quotation on HIV/AIDS from South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and making a brief commentary on it, Coker-Kolo in "Combating HIV/AIDS" reviews and critiques former United States President George W. Bush's policy in addressing the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa contained in the report titled "Rising U.S. Stakes in Africa: Seven Proposals to Strengthen U.S.-African Policy" edited by Kansteiner and Morrison (2004). Chapter seven of this report titled "Continuing U.S. Leadership to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa and Globally" was written by Todd Summers. Coker-Kolo examines the veracity of the United States' claim to provide continuing leadership in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. She divides her analysis into three major sections. An overview of the prevalence of the HIV/AIDS pandemic is first presented. In this section, Coker-Kolo uses statistical data to explain the prevalence of the disease; she also examines the root causes (for example, poverty and gender discrimination) and discusses its global impacts. This is an attempt to lay the foundation for a comparison between the magnitude of the problem and the existing efforts to fight against it. The second section is a critique of the report, "Continuing U.S. Leadership to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa and Globally." Coker-Kolo focuses on the leadership, commitment, collaboration and coherence of efforts provided by the United States in addressing the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. In this section, she seeks to answer the following questions: How credible is the United States' claim to leadership? How productive and sustainable is it? Finally, she proposes some alternative solutions (encompassing a multi-societal approach that is all inclusive) to the United States' approach based on research about strategies that have proven to be culturally and pragmatically appropriate for the African continent.
Here also Coker-Kolo is extradiegetic-heterodiegetic. She is completely absent from the tale she narrates, as she focuses on the seriousness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. This reality also leads her to call upon local, national, regional and international stakeholders to collaborate and move swiftly from commitment to action in combating the pandemic.
In "Historical Evolution of African Universities: From PreNationalism to Globalization and Internationalization," Coker-Kolo surveys the evolution of the modern African higher educational system from pre-colonial time to the present. She argues that since independence, African countries have looked to higher education as their lever for economic development and sustainability; they, however, struggle with creating a system that not only retains the cultural values of the old, but has the dynamism to foster changes, promote quality, and enable them to compete globally. She offers an insight into the historical forces that have shaped the system, including the educational practices and values of indigenous society, the Islamic influence, transition from colonialism to nationalism, and the new global environment characterized by privatization, new modes and technologies, cross-border provisions, and commercialization of knowledge in institutions of higher learning. She highlights in a general way the political, social, and cultural nuances that shape the growth and development of higher education in the continent and their implications.
Coker-Kolo's findings lead her to conclude that modern higher education in Africa has "metamorphized" in its philosophy, structure, and administration from a purely colonial enterprise to an eclectic system derived from different Western institutions, mainly Europe and North America. She notes that although African nationals are now in charge of managing their own educational systems, the influence of foreign entities is still apparent. She adds that the systems, like any other, continue to transition between periods of crises and reform. Nonetheless, she believes that the reform is engineered not only by external factors but also internally by the African nations and their institutions of higher learning. She observes that the reforms are also more research driven instead of being based on the whims and caprices of politicians. She suggests that one major reform that requires focused attention is the financing of education. Higher education in Africa, she points out, is still mainly financed and provided in public universities but changes are occurring slowly. She notes that there is cost recovery and cost sharing between governments and students, for example, in the form of tuition and fees. To push this change further, she recognizes that there is a need for financial diversification through the introduction or increase of fees, continued search for non-governmental funding sources, privatization, and growth in distance-based education. She notes that African higher institutions of learning need to be more entrepreneurial. This is possible because, as she notes, universities have the highest concentration of highly trained human resource capacity that should spearhead research, innovate, develop, and transfer technologies that could generate extra funding.
Coker-Kolo concludes with a call to each African country to make it a national priority to debate and determine what it can realistically expect its higher education system to deliver and what should inform the debate. Each country should address the controversy surrounding loans and external funding and develop a strategy to be more selective in accepting loans from agencies that philosophically disagree with their direction of reform. Most important, each country needs to develop a new vision, better planning, higher standard of fiscal management, and ways of responding to increased enrollments while maintaining quality.
Once more, Coker-Kolo utilizes the extradiegetic-heterodiegetic technique in this study. She is therefore not present in her poignant narration of the historical evolution of African universities from pre-nationalism to globalization and internationalization. Thus, like Soyinka-Airewele and Ayot, the extradiegetic-heterodiegetic approach seems to be dominant in CokerKolo's intellectual writing as well.
Rita Kiki Edozie
Rita Kiki Edozie is Associate Professor of International Relations at the James Madison College of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. Edozie holds a BA in English Studies and Dramatic Arts from the University of Ire (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in Nigeria; an MA in Communication Arts from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College; an MA and a PhD in Political Science from the New School University in New York. Her research interests include African affairs, comparative politics, democratization, and international political economy with a focus on development. She is the author of several books; many book chapters; and numerous refereed and other scholarly essays, conference papers and lectures. She has won many teaching fellowships and research awards. Her extensive administrative experience includes serving as Deputy Director of the Institute of African Studies in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York from 2001 to 2003 and as an elected faculty representative to the Advisory Committee of the African Studies Center at Michigan State University from 2005 to 2007. She also is a member of many scholarly organizations, including the ASRF and the ATWS.
The three among Edozie's major works examined here are (1) People Power and Democracy: The Popular Movement against Military Despotism in Nigeria, 1989-1999, (14) (2) "Sudan's Identity Wars and Democratic Route to Peace," (15) and (3) Reconstructing the Third Wave of Democracy." Comparative African Democratic Politics. (16) Edozie in People Power and Democracy: The Popular Movement against Military Despotism in Nigeria, 1989-1999 tells us that the movement was precipitated by the annulment of the 1993 presidential election in Nigeria due to the arbitrary action of the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. Edozie argues that the election, which had been widely acknowledged as the freest and fairest election ever held in Nigeria, had produced, for the first time in the nation's political history, a southerner, the late Chief Moshood Abiola, as the country's third democratically-elected president.
In order to capture the essence of this unique historical event in Nigeria, Edozie highlights the consequential development and growth of a formidable resistance movement against arbitrary military rule in the country that was manifested in the emergence of various national pro-democracy and human rights activist groups. These groups included the Campaign for Democracy (CD), the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), and the United Democratic Front of Nigeria (UDFN). These groups' intense political activities and unyielding agitation in the 1990s ultimately led to the downfall of the Babangida regime in 1993, eventually paving the way for the return of democratic governance in Nigeria and the establishment of the country's Fourth Republic in 1999.
Edozie provides an in-depth analysis of the activities of the various groups within the Nigerian pro-democracy movement covering the period from 1989 to 1999 in order to facilitate a general comprehension of the political dynamics in the country during that turbulent decade. She probes the various groups' efforts to mobilize Nigeria's civil society in order to oppose the corrupt and arbitrary military regime. She carefully scrutinizes the strategies, behavior patterns and actions of the individual groups and their combined efforts to develop and maintain a popular-based democratic transition for Nigeria. She ends with an optimistic prognosis for the country's political recovery and the sustenance of popular democracy in the advent of the new millennium.
Absent in this narrative, however, is Edozie herself. Thus, this study can be categorized as extradiegetic-heterodiegetic. Her objective here seems to be to provide a serious and highly critical, but well balanced, analysis of Nigeria's turbulent national politics during the last decade of the 20th Century.
In "Sudan's Identity Wars and Democratic Route to Peace," Edozie investigates important dimensions of Sudanese politics as it pertains to the interrelated topics of conflict, multi-nationality, globalization and democratization, and presents a dual research objective that deals with the dilemma of emerging perspectives on ethnicity and nationalism, on the one hand, and themes pertaining to global democratic development, on the other. She analyzes the ethnic conflict in the Sudan by examining the factors that have contributed to the emergence and persistence of the country's five-decade civil war and its expansion into Darfur in 2004. Recognizing the modern Sudanese state as a democratic state, which cannot be founded on religious, racial, or even cultural homogeneity, by way of formal, non-formal and militant democratic struggle, Edozie illustrates ways in which diverse Sudanese constituencies have utilized ethnic and identity politics to posit democratic solutions to achieve peace. She recommends a constructivist usage of "ethnic politics" and "democracy" as a public policy solution to the "Sudan crisis." This model, according to her, will employ mechanisms of ethical discourse and expression to extend cultural pluralism into an active and constructive process of identity formation and reconciliation as the means to achieve a united, multinational, multiracial, and democratic Sudan.
Drawing upon existing evidence, Edozie critically analyzes the Machakos Protocols and the Darfur spoiler, theories of cultural difference and the vision of a postmodern pluralist democracy, competing perspectives on identity wars, the Sudan's democratic prospects and failures, democracy and self-determination in the Sudan, and international approaches to resolving the Sudan's civil wars. She concludes that the consequences of the dominance of international conflict resolution measures as the medicine to solve the Sudanese conflict have led to limitations in the emergence of a substantive democratic state and lasting peace. Alternatively, in 1994, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), supported by the then Organization of African Unity (OAU), proposed a conflict resolution plan for a "New Sudan" based on the country's domestic democratic initiatives that had been ratified during the 1986 Koka Dam Declaration privileging a domestic, endogenous, nationally derived state-society.
Furthermore, Edozie asserts that if unity is the choice for a future multi-national Sudanese state, then considerable political crafting of democratic norms, practices and institutions must take place to accommodate diversity in the country. This, she believes, would usher in peace, justice, equality and democracy as primary objectives for the country. The Koka Dam Declaration, she adds, sought to trigger these fundamental changes in Sudanese national politics and, thus, it is this event that continues to represent a watershed for the revitalization of lasting peace and democracy for the country.
Here also Edozie uses the extradiegetic-heterodiegetic technique in her narrative of the Sudanese crisis and the push towards democracy and lasting peace. She is completely absent from her narration.
Edozie in Reconstructing the Third Wave of Democracy: Comparative African Democratic Politics argues that since the 1990s, trends in African politics call for the realization that the public policy practice and the theoretical analysis of democracy and democratization are becoming increasingly important tenets for understanding the continent's contemporary political science. She explains these new political processes and ideas and identifies factors that Africans have encountered since the foundation of the modem African state. She goes on to present a critical analysis of African politics through the lenses of post-colonial discourse by uniquely utilizing the ideas of democratic theory to guide her analysis of the continent's democratic development and performance. She then presents an intra-regional comparative analysis of democratic politics in Africa by using a methodology that helps her to reveal the dynamism of several country cases and several more regime experiences with democracy encountered from the post-World War II era to the present post-Cold War period.
By critically analyzing existing evidence on the theoretical considerations of Africa's democratic waves, the meaning of democracy in Africa in terms of ideas of social construction, establishing modern democracy via the global second wave of decolonization, Africa's third wave of democracy from post-World War II Uhurus to post-Cold War Sopis, post-Cold War pluralist democracy in terms of freedom and human rights in a global democratic era, electoral authoritarianism and "delegative" democrats in reconstructing democratic consolidation in Africa, and democratic capitalism and the crisis of democracy through democracy and development, Edozie predicts the future for democracy in Africa. According to her, the future for democracy on the continent is dependent on what happens among many context issues. Democratic consolidation will remain a living and continuing prospect. How it advances will hinge upon the ways in which newly democratized African political regimes negotiate and balance the political and economic rights and needs of their people.
Again, Edozie employs the extradiegetic-heterodiegetic technique in this study. She is therefore absent from her thorough narration of the challenges for reconstructing democracy in Africa. Similar to Soyinka-Airewele, Ayot and Coker-Kolo, the extradiegetic-heterodiegetic approach appears to be dominant in Edozie's intellectual writing.
Mueni wa Muiu
Mueni wa Muiu is Associate Professor of Political Science at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina. Muiu got her BA in Political Science from the University of the District of Columbia and her MA in African Studies and PhD in Political Science from Howard University in Washington, DC. She is the author of several books, many book chapters, and numerous refereed and other essays, conference papers and lectures. She is the winner of many scholarly, teaching and service awards. She is a member of the executive committee of the ATWS, a member of the University of North Carolina Exchange Program Advisory Committee, and a member of the Global Studies Task Force at Winston-Salem State University.
The three among her major works examined here for Muiu are (1) "Fundi wa Afrika: Toward a New Paradigm of the African State," (17) (2) The Pitfalls of Liberal Democracy and Late Nationalism in South Africa, (18) and (3) "'Civilization' on TriM: The Colonial and Postcolonial State in Africa." (19) Muiu in "Fundi wa Afrika: Toward a New Paradigm of the African State" begins by arguing that throughout history, Western interests in Africa have consistently been to have access to cheap labor, control of the economy, markets and raw materials. The African state was therefore shaped to meet these goals. Consequently, she asserts, African goals such as self-reliance, democracy, and continental unity cannot be achieved by the present states. She therefore calls for the restructuring of the African state to retain its positive and adequately functioning elements and by incorporating the still functional remnants of indigenous African institutions. Thus, according to Muiu, the African state should determine the framework of its economic, political and social interactions with the sub-regional, regional, and global environment.
This African state envisioned by Muiu is couched within the concept she calls Fundi wa Afrika, a new paradigm in the study of African politics. She analogizes this paradigm to her observations of building and tailoring processes in a small village in eastern Kenya as follows:
The owner of the house decided what the needs of the family were which he/she explained to the builder. Throughout the building process the builder and the owner consulted each other and whenever anything needed changing the builder changed it based on the needs of the client. I noticed the same process when I took my material to the tailor to make some outfits for me. She asked me what my needs were and we consulted each other throughout the process. When everything was over we were both happy. It is then that I realized that the relationship between Africans and their institutions in indigenous Africa was similar to the building and tailoring processes. (20)
These observations, according to Muiu, led her to study African institutions in order to understand when and how they changed to be externally determined rather than defined by internal factors. She argues that the analysis of the African predicament can only be understood in relation to the "new Scramble for Africa," a process that led to the depletion of the continent's human resources through the simultaneous onslaught of population control policies, AIDS, wars, and a captive and servile leadership. She therefore contends that Fundi wa Afrika will help to counter this debilitating process by offering Africans a way out of the predicament.
After presenting a brief analysis of indigenous African political systems and an examination of the colonial and post-colonial state in Africa, Muiu draws many conclusions. First, indigenous African political systems were based on African culture and tradition. Second, a vibrant civil society existed and acted as a check on leaders' power. Third, political power was decentralized, making it possible for leaders to rule and the people to. participate fully. Fourth, the political systems were institutionalized in the society, since they were determined by the needs and values of their members. Fifth, the trans-Atlantic slave trade permanently transformed the relationship between the rulers and the ruled. Sixth, the pattern of slavery was accelerated through colonialism as foreign powers used Africans in their own land for the maximum profit of the West. Seventh, independence simply Africanized the colonial institutions. Eighth, Westerners rewarded African leaders that served them well, just like they did during slavery. And finally, just as the abolition of slavery was used by diverse Western agencies as an excuse to meddle into African affairs, international financial institutions are using the present African predicament to shape and control African economies. Muiu therefore argues that until Africans recapture their economies, the pattern will continue. Consequently, she calls for the development of African states that are based on their own culture and values.
The literary analytical approach employed in this study by Muiu is the intradiegetic-heterodiegetic. Muiu, once removed, thus already a character of the tale, tells stories from which she is absent.
In The Pitfalls of Liberal Democracy and Late Nationalism in South Africa, Muiu compares African and Afrikaner nationalisms to demonstrate that the transition from apartheid to liberal democracy in South Africa was a neocolonial settlement that left the economy and the military/security sector under the control of the White minority, while increasing wide socioeconomic disparities between the rich and the poor.
Muiu's central thesis is that liberal democracy in South Africa accommodated and left unresolved the contradictions of South African capitalism and the multiracial nationalist discourse of the African National Congress (ANC). More specifically, she argues that the delivery of equal political rights in the new democracy is premised on the acceptance of the unequal economic relations among different classes, gender and race. She adds that the multiracial and multiethnic middle class is threatened from above and below. Popular demands from below sometimes lead the country to partially satisfy the people's economic and social demands. Pressure from economic interests and the business community limits the middle class's room for maneuver and forces it to make compromises at the expense of the people's interests, priorities and needs, especially the economic ones.
After thoroughly analyzing available data on an African imagined community from 1867 to 1948, an Afrikaner imagined community for the same period, apartheid's impact on African and Afrikaner nationalisms, "home" as depicted in selected African and Afrikaner novels and short stories, changes in South African capitalist economy covering the period from 1976 to 1994, negotiations for a democratic South Africa from 1991 to 1994, and economic and social changes in South Africa from 1994 to 2006, Muiu posits that apartheid's inequality can only be addressed by a radical program based on the majority's economic and social needs. She argues that liberal democracy does not allow for radical changes because it privileges the market rather than people's needs. Consequently, she concludes, the ANC cannot meet the interests of its overseers (business, bilateral institutions, White minority) as well as transform the economy. These realities, she adds, will continue to inform ANC's economic and social policies as it tries to transform South Africa for the foreseeable future.
In this study, Muiu employs the extradiegetic-heterodiegetic approach. She is absent from the critically poignant analysis of the pitfalls of liberal democracy and late nationalism in South Africa she presents.
Muiu in "'Civilization' on Trial: The Colonial and Postcolonial State in Africa" analyzes the development of modern African states from the onset of colonialism to the present in order to explain why these states' attempts to implement policies geared toward remedying the dire conditions that face the majority of their populations (lack of health facilities, infrastructure, food security, peace, and economic self-sufficiency) have failed. Her approach in this study is a general one, drawing examples from east, central, west, north and southern Africa.
After engaging in a critical analysis of the evidence pertaining to the European construction of Africa, who the "civilizing" agents were, and the nature of the postcolonial African state, Muiu posits that the colonial state's legitimacy was based on imperialism and derived from its status as the mother country, which made all the major decisions. Politically, she argues, a tradition of autocracy, an absence of nationalist ideology, and a complete lack of democratic values and institutions characterized the colonial state that Africans inherited. This Africanized colonial state inherited by the African elite, she adds, continued to work within its ideals as set up by the "civilizing" agents. Muiu concludes with two questions and attendant answers. The first question is "Could one reform a slave institution?" Her answer is that if Afi'icans are to reconstitute their political systems, they must do so within their own culture, environment and history. The second question is "Which way out of 'civilization'?" Here she offers a twofold response. First, Africans must recapture their economies; second, African countries must unite within a Federation of African states based on their culture and history, whichever way they define these.
Here also Muiu utilizes the extradiegetic-heterodiegetic approach. She is absent from her critical analytical "trial" of "civilization" as it pertains to the colonial and postcolonial African state. In sum, Muiu appears to employ a mixture of extradiegetic-heterodiegetic and intradiegetic-heterodiegetic. approaches in her scholarly writing.
Mojubaolu Olufunke Okome
Mojubaolu Olufunke Okome is Professor of Political Science and Director of Women's Studies at Brooklyn College of The City University of New York. Okome holds a BS (Honors) in Political Science from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, an MA from Long Island University in New York, and a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University. Her teaching and research specializations are international political economy, Africa, globalization, and democracy and development in Nigeria. She is the author of several books; numerous book chapters, refereed and other journal articles, conference, seminar and symposia essays; invited lectures; and has participated in many media invents. She is co-editor of Irinkerindo: d Journal of African Migration, co-editor of JENdA: d Journal of Culture and African Women Studies, and serves on the editorial boards of many publishing companies, academic journals and other publications. She also has won many prestigious fellowships and other scholarly awards, and served as President of the ASRF.
The three texts from among Okome's major works investigated here are (1) A Sapped Democracy: The Political Economy of the Structural Adjustment Program and the Political Transition in Nigeria, 1983-1993, (21) (2) "Amadou Diallo: Some Observations by Another African Immigrant," (22) and (3) "Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson: A Tribute." (23) In A Sapped Democracy: The Political Economy of the Structural Adjustment Program and the Political Transition in Nigeria, 1983-1993, Okome begins with a prefatory tribute to her Yoruba culture. She then moves on to detail Nigeria's 1986-1993 transition from military to civilian rule and implementation of a World Bank-International Monetary Fund (IMF) mandated Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) under President General Ibrahim Babangida and its ultimate failure. The broader issue analyzed on multiple levels by Okome deals with the reasons countries undertake and fail at such dual political-economic efforts. She emphasizes local conditions instead of a general theoretical postulate.
Okome thoroughly investigates the causes and effects of Nigeria's decision to undertake a simultaneous, dual transition. She considers the roles of the state, multilateral organizations and domestic politics as potential causes of policy and the dynamic interaction between economic and political processes during the transition as determinants of the effects. Her analysis reveals complex power struggles by these domestic and international actors. By providing evidence of the dynamic interaction among state, civil society and external forces during a period of grave economic crisis, she makes evident the underlying power relations that shaped the possibility of economic recovery and democracy in Nigeria.
This study is extradiegetic-heterodiegetic because Okome seeks to advance an interdisciplinary, theoretical dialogue and contribute to policy studies by focusing on the interaction between policymaking and social, economic and political outcomes. She is therefore absent from the narrative she provides.
In "Amadou Diallo: Some Observations by Another African Immigrant," Okome seeks to generate a discussion and debate on issues of pluralism and citizenry and what it means to be a human being in the aftermath of the brutal murder of a 22-year old African immigrant from Guinea named Amadou Diallo by officers of the New York Police Department on February 4, 1999. Throughout the essay, Okome considers the commonalities between her life experiences and those of Diallo. To do so effectively, Okome considers numerous news reports on the issue and makes comments on her thoughts about them. Also considered are numerous excerpts from other Africans (I use the concept here in its broader sense) that have suffered racial profiling and other indignities from police officers in New York and other parts of the United States. These narratives are subsumed under five appendices.
Okome carefully examines the points of view of many commentators from all sides of the political spectrum on the tragedy. She also considers those who have expressed their opinions by demonstrations and civil disobedience as means to achieve justice. She raises two interrelated questions: (1) What remains to be said besides the fact that all people of good conscience ought to join the demonstration to show that this is not a matter of Black and White but one that concerns all? (2) What can she contribute to throw light on the issue and the phenomenon of police brutality? In order to probe these questions, Okome considers the commonalities between her life experiences and those of Diallo.
Noting that she is an African immigrant in the United States and the mother of two boys, Okome tells us that she is still in shock over the assassination style-killing of Diallo. This young man was, she reminds us, "a street peddler" and that everyone who listens to the radio and watches television also knows that he was shot by four police officers of the New York Police Department in a hail of 41 bullets. She also reminds us that in the wake of the protests that Diallo's murder generated, one of the first responses by the then Mayor of the city of New York, Rudy Guiliani, is that his police officers ought to have hollow or "dum-dum" bullets. For Okome, if these bullets had been used, it would not have been necessary to shoot Diallo 41 times.
The literary analytical approach used by Okome in this study is intradiegetic-homodiegetic. Using the tragedy of Diallo, Okome is once removed and tells her own story. Some key points in her narrative include the facts that (a) she is from West Africa like Diallo but Anglophone unlike Diallo who is Francophone due to colonial arrangements; (b) she is an immigrant in the United States like Diallo was; (c) she became a United States citizen due to the dual citizenship law passed by Nigeria unlike Diallo who came from Guinea that had no such law; (d) she is Black just like Diallo was; and (e) she has encountered racial profiling just like Diallo did, albeit his encounter led to his death.
In "Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson: A Tribute," Okome makes it abundantly clear that as an immigrant woman living in the United States, Sirleaf-Johnson's victory in the 2005 Liberian presidential election resonates with her on a personal level, as the President's immigrant experience in America is testament to her strength, tenacity, and diligence. Okome recounts that she had read numerous commentaries on Sirleaf-Johnson's electoral victory and that while many had dubbed her "A Woman of Substance," some called her the "Iron Lady," while still others portrayed her as the one beacon of hope in "the worst place to be a woman on earth." Okome also recalls a campaign slogan in Monrovia reported to have read: "Ellen, She's Our Man." Another slogan urged people to "Vote for the Old Ma"--a sign of deference and respect for the elder status and consequent wisdom Sirleaf-Johnson is assumed to have gained over the years. As an African woman, Okome again reminds readers, she is proud of Sirleaf-Johnson for her accomplishments and achievements because her electoral victory comes as a path-breaking development in African politics and a watershed moment in Liberia's history.
In this essay, Okome employs the intradiegetic-heterodiegetic approach. She is as a narrator once removed, thus already a character of the tale, tells the story of Sirleaf-Johnson from which she as the author is absent. Even in the end, Okome states that the glory that she hopes is in the future: that is, Liberia's best is yet to come, and that Sirleaf-Johnson would lay the groundwork upon which future generations of Liberia can build. Overall, Okome's writing appears to be the most diversified among the six scholars studied in terms of the literary analytical approaches employed.
A SYNTHESIS OF THE FINDINGS
The preceding findings make it possible to delineate the following table within which the literary analytical approaches the six scholars use in the 18 texts examined can be sensibly categorized. As revealed in Table 1, in the overwhelming majority (15 or 83%) of the texts, the scholars employ the extradiegetic-heterodiegetic approach. Mui and Okome use the extradiegetic-homodiegetic approach in one text each (2 or 11%), Okome utilizes the intradiegetic-homodiegetic approach in one text, and none of the scholars uses the extradiegetic-homodiegetic technique.
The ultimate question that emerges here then is the following: What seems to underlie the six scholars' approaches. A plausible answer to this question is that the scholars are driven to be "objective" by using the "objective voice/approach" in their scholarly writings. But as I argue in our work cited earlier, (24) "subjective" is often taken to be a pejorative term when opposed to "objective," the quality claimed for the role of systematic analysis. But both subjectivity and objectivity are indispensable for learning anything, particularly about human affairs. Recall the oddity that every person's speech could be aptly called "subjective" in one of its several senses. But the fact that people from different countries routinely communicate in certain languages so well presupposes something "objective," something speakers of those languages share as a common, public, external factor.
That you are you, an individual, is not diminished by the fact that you are also a functioning member of a group when you speak and are understood. Could individuals insist that society form around them by acquiring their private or subjective language, for example? Obviously infants could not, and speakers at any age would already have to have acquired the public language of a society to make this demand intelligible.
Sorting out in what sense African Studies can be viewed objectively, and not just as an ingenious fancy invented by Africanists, has its own interest. In the process, one hopes to gain insight into questions like why this aspect is an instance of "African Studies," how individual African Studies issues compare, how an African Studies issue changes, or whether information like that can help decide whether the change all African Studies issues undergo is a good or bad thing.
With these considerations in mind, associating subjectivity with evaluations like "correctness" or "good" and "bad" is meant to stress rather than to deny the importance of this imminently human duty. Nor should there be any misunderstanding if objectivity is claimed for work driven by sound systematic approaches and subjectivity assigned to work that is not, since such a claim can initially be no more than a subjective evaluation by scientists. Nor should guardians of traditional values associated with refinements in simple case studies find anything strange about basing their prescriptions on expert, subjective, individual judgments rather than some normalized, objective generalization.
An opposition like "subjective" versus "objective" is considered inevitably relative rather than an absolute matter in private affairs, and the idea of turning an opposition into an either-or versus a more-or-less by agreeing on some public norm does not attract everyone. What is heavy for a child is, of course, light for an adult, while "heavy" for an adult might be "light" for a weight-lifter: the evaluation is relative to "who does the lifting," a subjective affair. By shifting from the private and subjective "heavy" to the public and objective "100 pounds," one can deal with the either-or instead of the more-or-less for each unit of measure, with steps more precise than "more or less" for ranges. Just why one would want to do this is yet another matter, but it should introduce some proportion into offensive comparisons rating many previous studies and approaches as "purely subjective" while holding systematic attempts to be "wholly objective."
Indeed, from the preceding analysis and synthesis, it is quite evident that all six scholars' works are of very high quality. They are cogent and well-informed; they offer a healthy comparison of the critical balance sheets of the achievements and shortcomings of societies and individuals in dealing with the vexing questions of the past and the present. Some are ground-breaking and theoretically and methodologically well grounded. Together, the works comprise a lucid and stringent corrective to the lazy complacency of much conventional wisdom about the past and the present.
What unifies the six scholars' works can appear rather banal. But many social scientific insights are so obvious, so fundamental, that they are difficult to absorb, appreciate, and express with fresh clarity. Some of the more basic ones are isolated from accounts of investigators who have earned their contemporaries' respect. Thus, the originality of the works hinges upon the clarity with which familiar but unconnected facts about major cultural, economic, historical, political and social phenomena are marshaled into a simpler, scientifically satisfying unity.
I, and hopefully many readers of this essay, owe sincere gratitude to: the many participants who listened to my presentation at the November 2009 ATWS Conference convened in Elmina, Ghana and offered suggestive evaluations; to the anonymous JTWS referees, Africa section editor, and Editor-In-Chief for their constructive feedback. Indeed, asking difficult questions often leads to better answers.
(1.) The Chronicle of Higher Education. "MIT Professor Accused of Scaring off Female Scientist from Job." (July 16, 2006). Retrieved on August 8, 2009 from http://chronicle.com/article/MIT-ProfessorAccused-of/37293
(2.) Abdul Karim Bangura and Erin McCandless. Peace Research for Africa: Critical Essays on Methodology. (Geneva, Switzerland: United Nations University for Peace Press, 2007), pp.186-189; Cesare Segre. Introduction to the Analysis of the Literary Text. (Bloomington, ID: Indiana University Press, 1988), pp.232-233.
(3.) Peyi Soyinka Airewele. "Western Discourse and the Socio-Political Pathology of Ethnicity in Contemporary Africa." In E. Ike Udogu (ed.). The Issue of Political Ethnicity in Africa. (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publiching Company, 2001), pp.167-186.
(4.) Peyi Soyinka-Airewele. "Subjectivities of Violence and the Dilemmas of Transitional Governance." West Africa Review (Issue 6, 2004). Retrieved on August 12, 2009 from http://www.westafricareview. com/issue6/soyinka-airewele.html.
(5.) Peyi Soyinka-Airewele. "Postcolonial Angst and the Nigerian Scholarly Estate." Journal of Third World Studies (Vol. xxii, No. 1, Spring 2005), pp. 109-133.
(6.) Winnie Mandela. Part of My Soul Went With Him. (New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1984).
(7.) Theodora Ayot. "Civil Society and Cultural Expressions: Implications for Ethnic Conflicts in Kenya for the Polity." CODESRIA Research Papers (Dakar, Senegal: CODESRIA, 1995).
(8.) Theodora Ayot. "Kenyan Women Model Growth in Political Maturity and Participation." Centerings (8th Day Center for Justice, Vol. xxxiii, No. 4, Summer 2007).
(9.) Theodora Ayot. "The Nature of Reconstruction and Reconciliation Programs in Rwanda: The Place of Women." In T. Ayot, et al. Conflicts and Conflict Resolution in Africa. (New York, N-Y: Publishers Choice Press/iUniverse, in press).
(11.) Doyin Coker-Kolo. "A Systems Analysis Approach to Integrating Cultural Diversity into Colleges of Education." Multicultural Perspectives (Vol. 4, Issue 2, April 2002), pp.35-39.
(12.) Doyin Coker-Kolo and Oluseyi Kuforiji. "Combating HIV/AIDS." In D. Coker-Kolo et al. Stakes in Africa-United States Relations. (New York, NY: Publishers Choice Press/iUniverse, 2007), pp. 129-147.
(13.) Doyin Coker-Kolo. "Historical Evolution of African Universities: From Pre-Nationalism to Globalization and Internationalization." In I. I. Munene. Transforming the Academia: Exploring African Universities. (New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.).
(14.) Rita Kiki Edozie. People Power and Democracy: The Popular Movement against Military Despotism in Nigeria, 1989-1999. (Trenton, N J: Africa World Press, 2002).
(15.) Rita Kiki Edozie. "Sudan's Identity Wars and Democratic Route to Peace." In S. Saha (ed.). Primal Violence or the Politics of Conviction? Perspectives on Contemporary Ethnic Conflict. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006), pp. 225-249.
(16.) Rita Kiki Edozie. Reconstructing the Third Wave of Democracy: Comparative African Democratic Politics. (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2009).
(17.) Mueni wa Muiu. "Fundi wa Afrika: Toward a New Paradigm of the African State." Journal of Third World Studies (Vol. xix, No. 2, Fall 2002), pp. 23-42.
(18.) Mueni wa Muiu. The Pitfalls of Liberal Democracy and Late Nationalism in South Africa. (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).
(19.) Mueni wa Muiu. "'Civilization' on Trial: The Colonial and Postcolonial State in Africa." Journal of Third Woreld Studies (Vol. xxv, No. 1, Spring 2008), pp.73-93.
(20.) Muiu, "Fundi wa Afrika: Toward a New Paradigm of the African State," p. 23.
(21.) Mojubaolu Olufunke Okome. A Sapped Democracy: The Political Economy of the Structural Adjustment Program and the Political Transition in Nigeria, 1983-1993. (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1997).
(22.) Mojubaolu Olufunke Okome. "Amadou Diallo: Some Observations by Another African Immigrant." Ominira: Journal of the Department of African and African American Studies (Fordham University, New York, Swing 1999). Retrieved on August 14, 2009 from http://www.geocities.com/ojogbon/polic.html?200914.
(23.) Mojubaolu Olufunke Okome. "Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson: A Tribute." JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies (Issue 7, 2005). Retrieved on August 14, 2009 from http://www.jendajournal. com/issue7/okome.html.
(24.) Bangura and McCandless, Peace Research for Africa: Critical Essays on Methodology, pp. 32-33.
By Abdul Karim Bangura *
* Abdul Karim Bangura is Professor of Research Methodology and Political Science at Howard University in Washington DC.
Table 1: A Diegetic Categorization of the Authors' Works Examined Extradiegetic- Extradiegetic- Intradiegetic- Author heterodigetic homodigetic heterodigetic Soyinka-Airewele 3 0 0 Ayot 3 0 0 Coker-Kolo 3 0 0 Edozie 3 0 0 Muiu 2 0 1 Okome 1 0 1 Total & as Percentage of Overall Total 15/83% 0/0% 2/11% Intradiegetic Author homodigetic Soyinka-Airewele 0 Ayot 0 Coker-Kolo 0 Edozie 0 Muiu 0 Okome 1 Total & as Percentage of Overall Total 1/6%
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|Title Annotation:||THIRD WORLD PROBLEMS AND ISSUES IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE; Association of Third World Studies and African Studies and Research Forum|
|Author:||Bangura, Abdul Karim|
|Publication:||Journal of Third World Studies|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2010|
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