REVISITING RELIGION, POLITICS, AND THE STATE IN AFRICA AND THE AFRICAN DIASPORA
Globally, there is recognition of tensions arising out of increased levels of inequality, anxieties about migration, citizenship, and belonging, and the concomitant democratic recession. The reality and consequences of inequity and democratic backsliding have gained momentum in Africa as well. The ‘Africa Rising’ euphoria has waned because economic growth has eluded large sections of society, depriving Africans of peace and security, and resulting in a fertile ground for political instability and leadership crises. Poverty and inequality are linked to the human rights and development debate, in the wake of exclusionary political practices, which have dispossessed citizens of the rights to equal participation in negotiating the social, economic, political, and cultural realities of their communities. Religious leaders, generally still regarded as the most trusted leaders in society, are under pressure to respond to this evolving situation. It is within this context, that the AASR seeks to revisit the relationship between religion(s), politics, and (non)state actors in Africa and the African Diaspora, to improve our understanding of how various actors and institutions are responding to the current challenges, and envisage their role in the future.
The conference invites panel and paper proposals that address this theme and related issues, taking into consideration the specific contexts of Africa and the African diaspora. Papers that engage any of the following themes, and related ones, are invited for presentation at this conference: