Contact person:
Rahel Weldeab Sebhatu
  • Department of Global Political Studies
Responsible at MaU:
Rahel Weldeab Sebhatu
Project members at MaU:
Time frame:
01 September 2019 - 01 November 2024
Research subject:

Project description

The aim of the research project is to analyze Africa-EU development cooperation so as to demystify negotiation processes between 'weak states' and the 'powerful' EU. Through a critical analysis of negotiation theory, especially that of intercultural communication, while also engaging with postcolonial politics of development and critical debates on Normative Power Europe (NPE), this research project aims to develop an analytical framework for analyzing North-South relations in a way that decenters normative theories on negotiation and development.

By putting forth different narratives and politics from the starting point of African states and historicizing the postcolonial encounter with attitudes towards/against aid dependency, this research project seeks to decenter dominant discourses that place the EU as having the upper hand when negotiating with African states. Through an understanding that development cooperation is a political act rather than one of charity or humanitarianism, this research project seeks to explore how and why aid negotiations are not asymmetric, but rather demonstrate multidirectional power struggles.

Through an alternative way of looking at Africa-EU diplomacy and negotiations as ambiguous rather than asymmetrical, this study hopes to draw out how Africa-EU relations and diplomatic ties may improve in the future. This research project is firmly placed within Global Political Studies as it studies agency in cooperation and conflict as being pluralistic within transnational politics. It also seeks to contribute to debates around postcolonial/decolonial/postcolonial feminist international relations (IR).