This book looks at the very different responses to the African predicament from prominent writers like Soyinka, Ngugi and Achebe, to the military men in power and the students who defy repression. It suggests that intervention by international agencies who claim to promote 'democracy' and 'empower the youth' may reinforce authoritarian attitudes and structures.
The essays in the book give voice to the outrage, ridicule and revolutionary ardour, as well as to the reformist caution, of those directly affected. The shallow pretences of those in power and the hypocrisy and arrogance of the foreign helpers are also exposed.
The book concludes that being an 'insider' or an 'outsider' is less important than being committed to listening to ordinary people.
Bjoern Beckman is a Research Professor in the Department of Political Science, Stockholm University. He has published extensively on African political economy and organised interests. His current work compares African trade unions and their interventions in policy and politics. Gbemisola Adeoti is a Lecturer in the Department of English, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria. He has contributed to scholarly journals both within and outside Nigeria. His collection of poems Naked Soles, has just been published.
Predicament and Response: An Introduction - Bjoern Beckman and Gbemisola Adeoti Part I: Intellectuals, Writers, and Soldiers 1. Psychopaths in Power: The Collapse of the African Dream in 'A Play of Giants' - Olusegun Adekoya 2. Re-establishing the Basis of Social Order: A reflection on Achebe's Reformist Agenda and Ngugi's Marxist Aesthetics - M. S. C. Okolo 3. Narrating the Green Gods: The (Auto) biographies of Nigerian Military Rulers - Gbemisola Adeoti Part II: Students, Youths and People 4. Ambiguous Transitions: Mediating Citizenship among Youths in Cameroon - Jude Fokwang 5. Student Radicalism and the National Project: The Nigerian Student Movement - Bjoern Beckman 6. Transnational Governance and the Pacification of Youth: Civic Education and Disempowerment in Malawi - Harri Englund 7. Identity and Knowledge Production in the Fourth Generation - Nana Akua Anyidoho Contributors Index