Achille Mbembe

Cameroonian philosopher and political scientist. Research Professor at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research in Johannesburg, South Africa. His books include Politiques de l’inimitié (2016); Critique de la raison nègre (2013); Sortir de la grande nuit : Essai sur l’Afrique décolonisée (2003); De la postcolonie. Essai sur l’imagination politique dans l’Afrique contemporaine (2000).



Cover for: The weight of life

The weight of life

On the economy of human lives

In a rush to minimize the recession following COVID-19, some hold their economies dearer than the saving of lives. But prosperity isn’t the indefinite depletion of bodies and resources. It is through the satisfaction of basic needs that we will restore the dignity of all.

Cover for: Deglobalization

Digital computation is engendering a new common world and new configurations of reality and power. But this ubiquitous, instantaneous world is confronted by the old world of bodies and distances. Technology is mobilized in order to create an omnipresent border that sequesters those with rights from those without them.

Cover for: What is postcolonial thinking?

What is postcolonial thinking?

An interview with Achille Mbembe

The faults in Europe’s universalism, especially when confronting its colonial history, have nurtured a variety of critical perspectives in the West. Talking to French magazine Esprit, theorist Achille Mbembe says that postcolonial thinking looks so original because it developed in a transnational, eclectic vein from the very start. This enabled it to combine the anti-imperialist tradition with the fledgling subaltern studies and a specific take on globalization, he says.

Zu allen Zeiten war Afrika ein Kontinent in Bewegung. Daran müßte ein “Afropolitanismus” anknüpfen, der den erstarrten “afrikanischen Nationalismus” überwindet. Und zwar durch die alte Neugier auf das Fremde und eine Offenheit für das Hybride.

Read in Journals