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It is not surprising that development aid arose in Africa just after the formal end of colonialism. In the short term, the Chinese use these institutes to mark their territory on the African landscape and this becomes a visible, symbolic marker of their power and presence on the continent in a way that is not as politically or socially sensitive as the creation of, say, military barracks or the Africom. A school also becomes a medium of propagating ways of seeing the world and it is an exceedingly effective way for a state to build and extend its cultural capital internationally.
Congress, State Legislatures, and the Future of Legislative Studies
The founding of these centres also represents an admission, perhaps learnt from the West, that economic and nuclear power alone do not go so far in terms of effective control of the world. To truly and fully control a people, the powers that be must also influence their cultural habits, their language and belief systems. This has been routinely referred to as soft power. This strategy of conquest has been previously deployed in Africa by France, Britain and the United States – expressed through the creation of enduring institutions of cultural dominance like Alliance Francaise, the British Council and the American Cultural Centre – with considerable success and a devastating effect on the African psyche, akin to what renowned African writers like Okot Bitek and Chinua Achebe wrote aboutregarding the colonial condition.
451, February 28, 2008, p.1054.
is a journal of scholarship devoted to autobiography, biography, diaries, letters and relations between lifewriting and other discourse. The editors invite manuscript submissions dealing with any aspect of lifewriting. Subject matter may be drawn from any period or genre but must show clear connections to the theory and practice of lifewriting. In addition to scholarly articles we invite contributions in the form of book reviews, calls for papers, announcements of conferences and the like.