chapter  9
Bridging the GAP
The pan-African school and International Relations theory
ByTim Murithi
Pages 11

Africa has been a marginal focus of interest in International Relations (IR) and in the theoretical frameworks that have been developed by the discipline. In normative terms, pan-Africanism is the expression of this spirit of solidarity and cooperation among African countries and societies. In terms of 'bridging the gap' between pan-Africanism and IR theory, the pan-African school can therefore contribute towards the development of a new paradigm of IR theory that is more global, open, inclusive and able to capture the voices and experiences of the African geo-political landscape. The initial and primary aim of pan-Africanism, encapsulated in the vision and mission of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), was to end racial discrimination against people of African descent, including those in the diaspora. The IR field has witnessed the growth of more critical theory that places an emphasis on the primacy of normative judgement on matters of international politics.