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Long Reads

Our full journal articles are published in the quarterly journal and can be accessed through Taylor and Francis (and on our archive page of this site). However, on we post long reads (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.

African Economies, Societies and Natures in a Time of Covid-19

ROAPE’s Reginald Cline-Cole provides an analytically rigorous understanding of the differentiated spread and impact of Covid-19 around the world. In so doing he returns us to what ought to be our core concern: the political economy of uneven incorporation of African economies, societies and natures into the world economy.

The Colonial Counter-Revolution: the People’s Revolution in Algeria (Hirak)

Brahim Rouabah challenges what is referred to as ‘the post-colonial’ era, instead he proposes a decolonial approach that refers to the ‘colonial counter-revolution’. In a detailed analysis of Algeria, Rouabah demonstrates the horizons such an approach unlocks and the new perspectives it allows to emerge.

Ruth First’s visit to Ibadan and its aftermath, 1968

This post is a chapter from a joint memoir that is being written by Selina Molteno and Robin Cohen about their period in Nigeria, September 1967–September 1969, which was framed by the Nigerian Civil War. The chapter tells a personal story and also provides some more general insight into those tumultuous years. They were both working at the University of Ibadan, Selina in African Studies, and Robin in Political Science and describe the visit that Ruth First made to Nigeria, and the friendship that developed.

Poetic Injustice: The Senghor Myth and Senegal’s Independence

The mythification of ‘poet-president’ Léopold Sédar Senghor has blurred our understanding of his real legacy. Recalling that he was both a poet and a president is a fact, but associating both, while refusing to recognize the authoritarianism he displayed, Florian Bobin argues, creates a dangerous historical myth.

Omar Blondin Diop: Seeking Revolution in Senegal

On May 11, 1973, young Senegalese revolutionary philosopher Omar Blondin Diop died in detention under suspicious circumstances. Our understanding of liberation movements in Africa tends to focus on struggles in colonial settings, yet Florian Bobin argues that sixty years after Senegal’s independence, Blondin Diop’s life, work, and legacy help reveal what revolutionary politics look like in a neo-colonial state.