Africa and globalization: marginalization and resistance.
This chapter is a contribution to the ongoing debate about Africa and globalization and the interrelated issues of capitalism, marginalization, representation, and political leadership. Problematizing the discourse of Africa as "diseased" and "hapless," the World Bank's structural adjustment "cure-all" is presented as being much worse than the "disease" that preceded it. Proposing a critical ethics of globalization--which highlights the gap between globalization's miraculous, self-reflective images and the miserable conditions it creates--there is an attempt to uncover agents of change on the African continent. Social movements such as those fighting for water and electricity in Soweto, for land in Kenya, or against environmental destruction by oil companies in the Niger delta raise questions about the viability of globalization. Often led by women, these movements not only challenge the "male deal" that defines national governments and multinational corporations, but also call for a revaluation of subsistence economies and local democratic polities as alternatives to globalization. In short, this chapter offers important conceptual, as well as practical, challenges to globalization, indeed to the very nature of politics itself. (author's)