Xenophobia, Nativism and Pan-Africanism in 21st Century Africa

Sabella Abidde's picture
Call for Papers
June 30, 2020
Alabama, United States
Subject Fields: 
Political Science, Sociology, African History / Studies, Black History / Studies, Ethnic History / Studies


Xenophobia, Nativism and Pan-Africanism in 21st Century Africa

Sabella Abidde and Emmanuel Matambo (Editors)


The purpose of this project is to examine the mounting incidence of xenophobia and nativism across the African continent. Second, it seeks to examine how invidious and self-immolating xenophobia and nativism negate the noble intent of Pan-Africanism. Finally, it aims to examine the implications of the resentments, the physical and mental attacks, and the incessant killings on the psyche, solidarity, and development of the Black World.


According to Michael W. Williams, Pan-Africanism is the cooperative movement among peoples of African origin to unite their efforts in the struggle to liberate Africa and its scattered and suffering people; to liberate them from the oppression and exploitation associated with Western hegemony and the international expansionism of the capitalist system. Xenophobia, on the other hand, is the loathing or fear of foreigners with a violent component in the form of periodic attacks and extrajudicial killings committed mostly by native-born citizens. Nativism is the policy and or laws designed to protect the interests of native-born citizens or established residents.


The project intends to argue that xenophobia and nativism negate the intent, aspiration, and spirit of Pan-Africanism as expressed by early proponents such as Edward Blyden, W.E.B. Du Bois, C.L.R. James, George Padmore, Léopold Senghor, Jomo Kenyatta, Aimé Césaire, and Kwame Nkrumah. In South Africa, for instance, periodic violence against fellow Africans from within and outside of the southern African region is prompted by fears of African immigrants usurping the economic space of previously disadvantaged South Africans and flouting domestic laws of their host country. But isn’t criminality and illegal migration to be attended to by the government and its agencies?


Other African countries have laws and legislations that target Others and outsiders who are mostly Africans. In these countries, there are immigration-restriction measures to thwart settlement or full participation in the economic, political, and social affairs of the country. One of the ironies of these measures is that non-Africans foreign nationals enjoy more civil liberties and human rights than Africans. In South Africa, when Africans are being killed and brutalized, the non-Africans have nothing to fear from the marauding assailants. This phenomenon has opened the narrative that what is often characterized as xenophobia in Africa is, in fact, “Afrophobia:” disdain for Africans by fellow Africans.  From this backdrop, what are the prospects of Pan-Africanism in 21st century Africa? Do Africans still appreciate the need for Pan-Africanism?


The scope of the issues to be addressed is expansive as the suggested list below shows. The 21st century is currently gripped in new international dynamics characterized by the rise of some powers of the developing world, the popularity of insular politics in the West, and immigration. For this reason, contributors are welcome to address the issue of xenophobia and nativism between Africans and non-African residing in the African continent.


We encourage scholars, activists, and members of the Civil Society to submit chapters that address some of the issues we have raised or address some of the suggested topics that are listed below.  Prospective contributors may also suggest and write on topics that are not listed if the said topic falls within the overall theme of this project:


  1. Xenophobia and Emerging Theories
  2. Nativism and Emerging Theories
  3. The Early History of Xenophobia and Nativism in Africa
  4. Pan-Africanism, Nativism, and Xenophobia
  5. Domestic Legislations and Nativism
  6. The Safety and Security of Citizens of Former Colonial Powers
  7. The Chinese, Indian, Lebanese Communities
  8. Xenophobia, Nativism, and Nationalism
  9. Ubuntu, Pan-Africanism, and the Xenophobes
  10. The Psychology and Psychosis of Xenophobes and Nativists  
  11. Xenophobia in South Africa, 2008-2020
  12. Explaining and analyzing Attacks Against Other Blacks
  13. Nativism and Xenophobia in North Africa
  14. Nativism and Xenophobia in West and Central Africa
  15. The Role of the Media
  16. The Politics of Race and Color in Southern Africa
  17. Assimilation and Acculturation of Recent Immigrants in South Africa
  18. How Relevant is Pan-Africanism in Twenty-first Century Africa?
  19. The Human and Economic Cost of Xenophobia and Nativism
  20. Xenophobia and the legacy of apartheid
  21. Afrophobia: Paradigms and Narratives



  1. Please submit a 300-350-word abstract plus a 150-250-word biography (About the Author) along with your official contact information by 30 June 2020 to Sabidde@gmail.com and please Cc the co-editor at ematambo@yahoo.com
  2. You will be notified of acceptance or rejection of the abstract by 30 July 2020. You will also be informed of the name of the publisher, and information regarding formatting and citations.
  3. Your completed chapter -- if your abstract is accepted -- must NOT be longer than 30-double spaced pages (including the tables, figures, maps, endnotes, and bibliography) and would be due not later than 30 October 2020.


Sabella O. Abidde (Ph.D., Howard University; MSC Saint Cloud State University, Minnesota) is a professor of political science and a member of the graduate faculty at Alabama State University. He is the editor of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean: The Case for Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation (Lexington Books, 2018); and coeditor of Africans and the Exiled Life: Migration, Culture and Globalization (Lexington Books, 2017). An upcoming book on “Migrants, Refugees, and the Internally Displaced” is due in fall 2020. Dr. Abidde is a member of the Association of Global South Studies (AGSS); the African Studies and Research Forum (ASRF); and the American Political Science Association (APSA).


Emmanuel Matambo is a Senior Researcher at The Centre for Africa-China Studies, University of Johannesburg. He holds an MA in Social Science, and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.  His main area of interest is African agency, especially the continent’s relationship with outside states and institutions. He also focuses on Africa’s long overdue role as the principal architect of peace and security on the continent. Dr. Matambo is the author, most recently, of “A choreographed Sinophobia? An analysis of China's identity from the perspective of Zambia's Patriotic Front;” “Constructing China’s identity in Zambian politics: a tale of expediency and resignation;” and “Bystander in my own house: A critique of the African Union’s method and role in ending conflict and establishing peace in Africa.”


Contact Info: 

Sabella O. Abidde

Alabama State University

Montgomery, AL 36104

Contact Email: