United States International University - Africa, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, through its Department of International Relations, in conjunction with University of Leeds invite you to a round table discussion on "Tracing Capitalist Transformations in East Africa: The Case of Kenya".
The age of neoliberalism since the 1980s has made East Africa more capitalist. That is, it has made capitalism in these societies more extensive, intensive, institutionalized and taken-for-granted. By the early 2020s, capitalism (including the latest versions such as platform capitalism) is socially pervasive and dominant in every-day life for millions of people, especially in the capitals, such as Nairobi.
This raises the following questions for higher education institutions in the region:
1) How extensively do social science students explore and discuss – that is, theorise, research and analyse - these fast-changing everyday realities of contemporary capitalism at their doorstep?
2) How well do they get prepared in the classroom to
a. identify and interpret social phenomena in their society/community as capitalist social phenomena,
b. do a comparative analysis of a phenomenon of capitalism in Kenya/East Africa vs. another country/region (on or outside the continent), and
c. analyse the political character of capitalism/capitalist social phenomena?
3) What could be gained (for students in particular) if the teaching and analysis of capitalism in Africa/Kenya would be given more space in social science (and particular political science) departments?
Join us for this live and online discussion on the merits and drawbacks of capitalism in East Africa.
When: Monday, January 24, 2022
Time: 3:00pm to 6:00pm East African Time
Venue: Physically at USIU-Africa Auditorium and Virtually via Zoom
Topic: Tracing Capitalist Transformations in East Africa: The Case of Kenya
Dr. Wiegratz has engaged in extensive research on the topic and will use examples from his ongoing involvement in a range of respective initiatives to lead the discussion. His work includes the collective work to analyse the character of neoliberalism in Uganda, the Nairobi focused blog and video project Capitalism in my city, the two blog series Capitalism in Africa, and Pressure in the city (the latter has Nairobi as its starting place), the work to analyse commercialisation processes in Africa, and the development of a MA module titled Capitalism in Practice at his home institution.
Scholar and Faculty Participants:
1. Dr. Jörg Wiegratz,
Lecturer in Political Economy of Global Development, School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Leeds, and Senior Research Associate, Department of Sociology, University of Johannesburg.
2. Dr. Elizabeth Kalunda,
Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator - Accounting, Finance and Economics Department, Chandaria School of Business, United States International University - Africa.
3. Dr. Aleksi Ylönen,
Ag. Chair and Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, United States International University - Africa.