When You Think of a Global IR Theory, Think Uhuru Na Ujamaa?

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Shadrack Bentil


“A nation which refuses to learn from foreign cultures is nothing but a nation of idiots and lunatics. Mankind could not progress at all if we all refused to learn from each other. But [this] …does not mean we should abandon our own [to embrace others.] The sort of learning from which we can benefit is the kind which can help us to perfect and broaden our own culture” [43]. The question, “Is there a Global International Relations (IR) theory?” remains an important discourse in the world today especially, when ideas have no boundaries and societies are not static. Several scholars, Acharya and Buzan in contemporary literature have argued for the broadening and departure from western centric construction of the world to give the discipline of IR a global perspective. Thus, the paper argued that Nyerere’s Ujamaa holds in it, insights that can better the theorising process in the IR discipline. These insights exude the principles and values of African Communitarianism, African re-conceptualization of sovereignty, the concept of developmental state model, national unity and cohesion, and the contribution to pedagogical discourse of liberation which are often shallowly constructed by dominant western ideas. On this account, the paper relies predominantly on secondary data in a semblance of systematic literature review present what is out there, and to situate the discussion in ongoing debate. The paper concludes that there should be a multiple but overlapping discussions on global IR theorising, such that various theoretical and epistemological strands of knowledge and inquiry are appreciated (Ujamaa in this case).

International relations, human affairs, Ujamaa, Tanzania, global IR theory, Africa.

Article Details

How to Cite
Bentil, S. (2020). When You Think of a Global IR Theory, Think Uhuru Na Ujamaa?. Asian Research Journal of Arts & Social Sciences, 10(1), 8-20. https://doi.org/10.9734/arjass/2020/v10i130137
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