Abstract

Abstract:

To civilize and rescue certain populations from self-destruction was a cardinal aim of colonization, which reflected the supposition that colonized people were evolutionarily, culturally, intellectually, and morally deficient and therefore incapable of attaining advanced levels of sociopolitical organization. This article explores how contemporary discourses of corruption in Africa echo these discredited narratives, which I critically analyze using a combination of postcolonial and poststructuralist approaches to discourse as an ideational structure. I conclude with two broad arguments: first, that the focus of these narratives on the perceived moral deficiencies of so-called African leaders misrepresents complex historical, social, and structural conditions; second, that, by constantly questioning Africans' capacity to govern themselves, these narratives sabotage efforts toward decolonization while providing subtextual justifications for continued neocolonial relations between the West and Africa.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-1978
Print ISSN
0001-9887
Pages
pp. 11-28
Launched on MUSE
2021-06-09
Open Access
No
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