EVENT Jun 17
ABSTRACT Feb 18
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Hard Power and Soft Power in U.S. – Africa Foreign Policy: The Cases of AFRICOM and Power Africa.

Categories: Graduate Conference, American, African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, Transcendentalists, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century
Event Date: 2019-06-17 Abstract Due: 2019-02-18 Abstract Deadline has passed

The study seeks to critically deconstruct and assess American foreign policy in sub-Saharan Africa. Exploring U.S foreign policy in Africa presents an opportunity to better conceptualize not only the general increased interest in Africa; it allows for a better understanding of the role of the United States in propagating this interest, and further serves to identify the opportunities and challenges that are present within this context. This topic additionally offers an interesting opportunity to critically assess changing approaches to foreign policy, which are based on changing needs within the international arena. The way the United States continues to gain legitimacy within such changing international relations, is a subject that has gained immense traction in the literature. Of interest to this field of study, are the mechanisms via which the U.S is trying to amplify its foot hold on the continent.

Majority of the analyses of the U.S and other countries such as China and European Union engagement in Africa focus either on what the countries gets out these cooperation’s or the impacts that these states aid and investment they have implemented on African continent. The study seeks to reveal the following specific areas: 1) what is the U.S trying to achieve in Africa? 2) The U.S foreign policy towards Africa 3) whether the U.S is primarily using hard or soft power 4) whether the U.S successful in its mission to Africa. On the other hand, the U.S recently focuses on aid policies with a view to promoting democracy, human development, and good governance. It points out that the manner of commitment is less economical but more political, and thus differing from the efficient approach of other countries such as India, China and EU have with Africa. This research will seek to fill the gaps in understanding AFRICOM, a new front for U.S engagement with Africa and suggests that U.S foreign policy is underpinned using an amalgamation of soft and hard power encapsulated in initiatives such as AFRICOM (hard power) and Power Africa (soft power). 

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Bodunde Bamidele