African Actors in World Politics


How can Africa and its relations with the rest of the world contribute to our understanding of world politics? What do International Relations theories have to say about it? The last 15 years have experienced a dramatic shift in the representations of Sub-Saharan Africa on the international scene. Part of this shift lies in the recent economic and diplomatic growing involvement of non-Western states and firms, coming from Asia more particularly. These newcomers induce a new competitive stance among the traditional partners of the sub-continent, arguably providing African actors with new economic opportunities. The course intends to document these current trends, including their sociological and historical backgrounds, and relate them to key issues explored by International Relations (IR) scholars, regarding the logics of cooperation and conflict, the role of the interstate system in the capitalist world economy, multilateral institutions, regional integration, security communities, the politics of identity, etc.

Recommended Prerequisite(s)

Students eager to take this course should have basic knowledge in International Relations, International Political Economy and/or political science.


  • Bach (Daniel), Regionalism in Africa. Genealogies, institutions and trans-state networks, Abingdon, Routledge, 2016.
  • Bayart (Jean-François), Africa in the World: A History of Extraversion, African Affairs, vol. 99 (n° 395), 2000, p.217-267.
  • Cooper (Frederic), Africa in the World. Capitalism, Empire, Nation-State, Harvard University Press, 2014.
  • Bischoff (Paul-Henri), Aning (Kwesi), Acharya (Amitav) (eds.), Africa in Global International Relations. Emerging Approaches to Theory and Practice, Abingdon, Routledge, 2016.
  • Taylor (Ian), Africa Rising? BRICS Diversifying Dependency, Oxford, James Currey, 2014.

In brief

Year Third year

Teaching languageEnglish

Teaching term Six-monthly

ECTS credits 2.0

Number of hours 18.0

Teaching activityLecture course


Optional teaching



Forest Amandine [+]

Prévot Christophe [+]

Educational manager :
Ambrosetti David [+]