Analysis

The Analysis Section of Afronomicslaw.org publishes two types of content on issues of international economic law and public international law, and related subject matter, relating to Africa and the Global South. First, individual blog submissions which readers are encouraged to submit for consideration. Second, feature symposia, on discrete themes and book reviews that fall within the scope of the subject matter focus of Afronomicslaw.org. 

Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Pursuing a PhD in International Law: Some Epistemological and Existential Challenges in the Indian Context

Academic inquiry can be varied, but some of the most streamlined and institutionally regulated ones are those which we conduct during our doctoral studies. The challenge with doctoral studies is not only in bringing out novel findings to disciplinary knowledge but also to present a likeable, marketable, and innovative piece of work. The whole doctoral experience is further enriched but also complicated by the life of the candidates, the geographical location they are working from, and, obviously, the issues that they are studying. In this post, I would like to highlight how international law as a subject is perceived in India, the academic processes surrounding the completion of a PhD, and some of the structural issues and problems faced by the candidates at various stages of the degree.

Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Your One Wild and Precious Life

In mid-2020 (as the world felt unmoored), I found myself thinking a lot about what gives a life its shape. I was reading two things that, at first, appeared unconnected – the 1970s diaries of Australian writer Helen Garner, and the testaments written about anthropologist and leftist David Graeber after his untimely death. But as I read these in tandem, I felt them each to be deeply relevant to the questions of how we live, how we create, how we attend, how we pay attention.

Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Balancing my Time or Why Watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race is a Better Use of your Time

not serious enough. I am extremely serious about my students and about my research I just do not feel the need to perform it or to ‘lean-in’ to a toxic norm. I possess privileges that help me do that, that is certain. But I like to ex-change top facts in non-sensical conversations that have nothing to do with law, I like going out for runs, I like watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race and What We Do in the Shadows. Anyone who tells you that those things are not commensurate with being a serious academic working the hours that are needed to be a serious academic are wrong.

Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia: An Indigenous Concept of Time and Its Impact on Time Management: A Personal Reflection in an Early Academic Career (Part 2)

In this post, I would like to shed more light on this by discussing two matters central to Indigenous perspectives of time: time linked to tasks or duties, and circular time as a means that is attached to an activity in progress. I will use personal experiences in an early academic career in international law to clarify these matters.

Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia: An Indigenous Concept of Time and Its Impact on Time Management: A Personal Reflection in an Early Academic Career (Part 1)

In this two-part blog post series, I will discuss Indigenous understandings of time and reflect on personal experiences in an early academic career in international law. Part 1 of this blog post series will be devoted to a discussion on a circular perspective of time, which Indigenous peoples use. Subsequently, Part 2 will illustrate how valuable such approach is by reflecting upon personal experiences in an early academic career in international law.

Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Am I an Imposter? Overcoming Doubt and Self-disbelief as an Early Career Researcher

I’m privileged that my time as an early career researcher (ECR) has been a positive experience. I’ve worked with and been helped by brilliant lawyers and researchers in a collegial, welcoming environment. I’m indebted to them for their time, knowledge, and guidance. Yet, despite this, since I began my doctoral research, I have the unshakable sense that I simply do not belong among these people.

Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Mental Health in Academia: Some Hard Truths

Some years ago, at a different institution, I reached a point where professional, workplace, and personal pressures intersected for a period and I was simply unable to function as normal. Depression is certainly a possible label, so is burnout. I sometimes think of it as an implosion. I was fortunate enough to get help, recover, move on, and I have not since relapsed. However, what one finds on the other side of such events is not a return to things as they were before. Indeed, returning to what went on before is quite likely to repeat the patterns which caused one to burn out in the first place. Hopefully, one finds instead a new, better normal.

Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Introduction

This symposium’s idea was born out of at least four reflections on that question – the experiences of the four editors. While our experiences are unique, we could agree on one thing: there are junior international legal scholars struggling with various challenges that are inherent to the field. The hierarchies of academic institutions, the political economy of modern universities, geographical location, language, race, gender, and mental health struggles are some of the issues of concern to junior legal researchers, and often even to those advanced in their career. Difficulties emerge not only from structures of oppression and exclusion but also from insufficient familiarity with basic aspects of academic life. All four of us agreed that at the beginning of our careers we had/have little understanding of how to prepare a book proposal, an abstract for an interesting conference, a polite rejection email for an attractive offer, a teaching plan, a justification for chosen methods, and much more.

Matteo Grilli and Frank Gerits (eds.), Visions of African Unity: New Perspectives on the History of Pan-Africanism and African Unification Projects (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

The new collection Visions of African Unity edited by Matteo Grilli and Frank Gerits is very welcome. Pan-Africanism and African unity are highly significant in the modern history of the continent, yet have too rarely received the sustained academic attention they deserve. The editors have done well to establish a diverse set of contributors from Africa, Europe and America, with specialisms in history, law, and international relations. The subject is a broad one, and the chapters reflect this. Many of them are highly engaging and informative and will be of value to scholars interested in the particular facets covered as well as in the broader subject

Review: Visions of African Unity: New Perspectives on the History of Pan-Africanism and African Unification Projects

The edited volume Visions of African Unity. New Perspectives on the History of Pan-Africanism and African Unification Projects (palgrave macmillan, 2021) by Frank Gerits and Matteo Grilli (eds), is an ambitious and welcome publication on varying but complimentary aspects of Pan-Africanism in the 20th and 21st centuries. The book´s forte lies not only in its historical approach to the topic at hand but also in the bringing together of current research angles on matters of African unity, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), and the later African Union (AU). Also, the diverse set of contributing authors in terms of geography (Africa, Europe, USA), professional backgrounds, and gender makes this publication a welcome read.