The Empirical Anatomy of Heterarchy in African Continentalism: A Theoretical Reset beyond Hierarchy
Studies on African continentalism, conventionally dominated by the ranked heuristic and analytical logic of hierarchy, often designate the (non)effects of the processes and institutions African unity as uninspiring, mediocre or outright failures and hence not progressive. Relatedly, African political actors/engineers generally perceived as lacking confidence, self-defined rationality, ideational anchors and ingenuity, tend to be primarily tagged as peripheral, agency-deprived dominated subjects in the world pecking order. The dominance of the cited stereotypes in epistemic communities has hampered the realisation that processes of African unification, being historically contingent efforts to rehabilitate and uplift the African human condition, are inherently valuable and worthy natural experiments in their own right and as such harbour the potential to enrich academic discourse, expand knowledge frontiers and inform the framing of innovative policies. Against this background this project, with the aid of heterarchy: an essentially non-hierarchical mode of thought that privileges unranked and multiplicities of ranked coordinated relationships or transactions, seeks to research the often-overlooked complex nuances of African continentalism. The project’s endeavour, notionally oriented by a solemn and sympathetic consideration of crude transactions, seeks to probe the (i) ideational structures, (ii) institutional configurations and sequential patterns and (iii) (informal)governance regimes of African continentalism.
Nene-Lomotey Kuditchar is a senior member at the Department of Political Science University of Ghana. He is also a co-opted instructor at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy, the Institute for Statistical Social and Economic Research and Centre for Migration Studies (all at the University of Ghana) as well as the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College. He is also a former research associate at the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development on an ETH Zurich project focused on Ethnic Power Relations and Conflict in Fragile States, visiting scholar at the Geneva Graduate Institute, Fellow at the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa, University of Ghana and visiting Professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University and currently an associate member of the Africa Centre for Transregional Research, Albert-Ludwig-Universität Freiburg. His research interests include critical realism, meta-power analysis of African democracy and international politics.