Articles - ROAPE
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Articles

Journal Articles

Our full journal articles are published in the quarterly journal and can be accessed through Taylor and Francis. However, for a broader audience ROAPE Online publishes articles (up to 4,500 words) on a range of historical and political-economic issues on the continent.

We welcome submissions on focused, thoughtful and controversial issues about African political economy and the wider impact of international development on Africa’s development, history and politics.

ROAPE is published quarterly by Routledge, Taylor & Francis. All  new articles are available on the Taylor and Francis website. You can find free access to the ROAPE Archive here. This consists of downloadable PDFs of all articles published by ROAPE that are more than seven years old.

  • In the first of a two-part blogpost, Matt Swagler considers how the Russian Revolution drew the attention of Black intellectuals and workers from Africa and across the African diaspora. He argues that the revolution cemented the importance of Marxist ideas in debates about colonial and racial liberation for decades to follow. For a time the revolution showed that the struggles to liberate Africa from colonial rule and struggles against capitalism in the imperial countries were integrally linked. The second part of the blogpost will look at the influence of the Soviet Union on African liberation movements after World War II....

  • In this blogpost Zimbabwean socialist Munyaradzi Gwisai unpicks the situation in South Africa. He explains that the working class and poor must avoid the dangers of both Zuma’s ‘fake left-turn’ and the Zuma Must Fall protests. What are the lessons, Gwisai asks, for South Africa from the movement that rose-up against Mugabe in Zimbabwe in the late 1990s?...

  • Jointly published by Jacobin and ROAPE, David Seddon writes about Joseph Kabila’s second term as president which was supposed to end last November, but he’s still clinging to power, despite massive resistance. For the past two years, the political opposition has struggled against Kabila, worried that he will try to extend his term by any means necessary. Seddon explains what has been happening. ...

  • In this introduction to a major paper on the Near East and North Africa, ROAPE's Ray Bush focuses on the struggles by small farmers across the region. He notes the spike in protests since the food price hikes of 2008 that had intensified rural malnutrition, poverty and inequality. How can the battle for livelihood and food security by the regions small and family farmers be assisted? ...

  • Last year witnessed one of the strongest El Niño events since the 18th century. Gary Littlejohn writes about the consequences for Southern Africa and Mozambique in particular, noting that the ensuing drought in parts of Africa continues with serious impacts on food security. Knowledge that could have mitigate the worse effects of the El Niño was discarded by a discredited neo-liberal orthodoxy, a zombie theory that keeps coming back from the dead, with fatal consequences for the poor. ...

  • In this article Palash Kamruzzaman and Ben Tantua argue that the cognitive world of ‘militants’ and ‘militancy’ in the Niger Delta is embedded in a complex web of formal and informal interactions with political actors and military elites which give significance and sustenance to the conflict. The article attempts to unpick some of the motivations and dynamics at work....

  • Written in 1978 from inside a Mozambican prison camp Wilfred Mhanda’s devastating Treatise, published for the first time with roape.net, exposes the reality of Zimbabwe’s so-called war for liberation. Known by his nom de guerre, Dzinashe ‘Dzino’ Machingura, Dzino explains that the guiding principle of the Zimbabwean nationalist movement was the pursuit of personal and clique power and not the attainment of revolutionary ideals. Mhanda presents an extraordinary, critical view of the liberation struggle, providing a Fanonian analysis of the role of the so-called liberators of contemporary Zimbabwe. This invaluable, unpublished text is introduced by David Moore. ...

  • In the final part of her penetrating analysis of worker and community struggles in Mozambique, Judith Marshall argues that the strikes, bread riots and blockades across the country are part of a broader panoply of global resistance at a moment in history characterized by grotesque rich-poor disparities and unregulated corporate power....

  • In a far-reaching analysis of the struggles taking place in South Africa, Jonathan Grossman writes that the student mobilisations have directly challenged the myth of the rainbow nation. Grossman also challenges a narrative that says students did for workers what workers could not do for themselves, in fact there is a deep solidarity between workers and students and this is the real spirit of Marikana....

  • In the first of a two part article on the struggle of Mozambique’s workers and poor, Judith Marshall writes about the experiment in radical transformation in the first years of the country’s independence after 1975. However the tragic slide in the 1980s into the arms of the IMF and World Bank saw the adoption of structural adjustment. Marshall charts the birth of new protest movements against the government and international capital....

  • In Thandi Dlamini's report on mining in South Africa she writes how more than twenty years after democracy women make up only 11% of the operational mining workforce in South Africa. Before 1994, underground work was exclusively for males. This report assesses the possible side effects of the mining industry’s apparent new found enthusiasm for female employees. ...

  • In the afterword to the series Radical Agendas in South Africa, John Saul reflects on the essays that have appears over the last two months. In conclusion he asserts, as the contributors to this series have confirmed, the struggle continues in South Africa and that ROAPE (in both hard-copy and virtual format) must continue to report upon and bear witness to....

  • In the final essay in the series Radical Agendas in South Africa, Vishwas Satgar sees the possibility of a movement for socialism emerging in South Africa grounded in a collective leadership, a democratically conceived and commonly agreed program and a political division of labour in which a party is merely a tactical device in a mass transformative strategy....

  • In the fifth installment of Radical Agendas in South Africa, Jacklyn Cock sees the building blocks of eco-socialism, food sovereignty, energy democracy, transformational feminism and environmental justice, gaining momentum. New social forms, she writes, are emerging around these ideas that embody fragments of a vision of an alternative post-capitalist future....

  • In the forth essay in the series Radical Agendas in South Africa, writer and academic Shireen Hassim writes that economic policy debates simply pay lip-service to the gendered forms of production and reproduction, leaving these connections to be made by the small number of overburdened feminist activists. It is a rare event when there is attention to gender dimensions of inequality in the writings of the male left....

  • In the third installment of our series Radical Agendas in South Africa, Eddie Webster asks if left activists in the labour movement have the political imagination and energy to take advantage of the new terrain that has opened in recent years. What is clear, he writes, is that the old labour order is no longer sustainable ...

  • In this extended report on a far-reaching and radical workshop held in Ghana in July 2015 on equitable development and transformation, Peter Lawrence and Yao Graham describe the debates and discussions that took place on Africa's political and economic future....

  • In the second installment of Radical Agendas in South Africa, Dale McKinley examines the development of community struggles since 1994. McKinley argues that the transition to democracy and the ANC’s capturing of state power after 1994, saw a range of new political, socio-economic and organizational constellations of power come to the fore....

  • In this article, Vassilis Fouskas explains the current debt crisis in Greece and seeks to open a dialogue with the developing countries of the Global South (Africa, Latin America, Asia), all of which have faced, or are currently facing, debt problems. The article examines the lessons and possibilities for radical projects in other parts of the world. We hope this will generate a debate about experiments in Africa that have attempted to construct an alternative politics....

  • The first essay in our special issue on Radical Agendas in South Africa argues that the liberation struggle that culminated in 1994 and saw the emergence of a formally democratic South Africa and a population apparently liberated from oppression and, theoretically, from penury, has not been, in its essentials, so very liberatory after all. In subsequent essays, Vishwas Satgar, Shireen Hassim and others write about South Africa's radical possibilities....

  • John Saul has been an editor of one sort or another of ROAPE since the very beginning. In this interview he talks about almost fifty years as an activist scholar building solidarity for the struggles in Southern Africa and analysing developments in the sub-region....

  • In the first of three essays, Gary Littlejohn outlines the context in which the recent widely publicised BRICS initiatives have been taking place. In particular, the inauguration of new international banks is seen as a response to the dominance of Western finance capital and the failure of the so-called ‘Washington Consensus’ neoliberal orthodoxy that has produced negative economic effects worldwide, but nowhere more so than in developing countries....