The State, Democracy, and Development in the Works of Claude Ake


African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellowships


Faculty of Social Sciences


Although Claude Ake is one of Africa's foremost political philosophers, most works on him have been limited to a celebration of his intellectual pedigree and stature. And, barring a few exceptions, most scholarly commentaries on political theorists in Africa have been treated as either part of the colonial liberation struggle or as part of the neo-colonial historiographical narrations of African anthropology or metaphysics, with the veiled objective of denying the existence and reality of African political thought. The consequence of this deliberate oversight is that—whereas in disciplines like history, philosophy, and the liberal arts, accomplished African (ist) scholars have been studied extensively—within the political science discipline very few studies have been carried out on African political theorists generally and on Ake in particular. This work fills this crevasse and demonstrates the relevance of Ake's works for understanding the pitfalls, precepts, constituents, and prospects for knowledge production in Africa.