Radical Regionalism: Feminism, Sovereignty and the Pan-African Project

Sara Salem

This article analyses how sovereignty in Africa’s immediate post-independence period was necessarily conceptualised as a regional pan-African and internationalist project of decolonisation, outlining lessons for the contemporary period. The capacity of newly independent states to shape their domestic policy and mobilise resources was constrained by their subordinate place in the global political and economic order⁠, which made them dependent on foreign capital and tied them to the interests of their former colonisers. As such, they fostered radical regional and international solidarity that would facilitate the continent’s development. Looking at a series of feminist conferences in the immediate post-independence era, the article also traces the contributions of South feminists’ to the decolonisation project and African feminists to the conception of pan-Africanism, breaking with Western feminists to conceptualise national liberation as fundamental to gender justice.

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Sara Salem is Assistant Professor in the Sociology department at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Sara’s research looks at questions of political economy, feminist and gender studies, postcolonialism, history, and Marxism in the particular context of Egypt. She has recently published journal articles on transnational feminism, postcolonial nationalism, and capitalist development in Egypt.

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Feminism, sovereignty, and the pan-African project

Early post-independence governments in Africa conceptualized sovereignty as a pan-African and internationalist project; what lessons do they hold for contemporary movements? From Sara Salem (London School of Economics; Post-Colonialisms Today Researcher).

Post-Independence Conceptions of Sovereignty

Sara Salem (London School of Economics; Post-Colonialisms Today Researcher) offers insights into the multiple conceptions of sovereignty in the post-independence era.

Trajectories of Anticolonialism in Egypt

Discussing the case of Egypt, Sara Salem (Post-Colonialisms Today researcher), unpacks decolonization in relation to the global political economy and international solidarity, as well as moments of contestations from feminist and workers movements.