Soft Power and a Feminist Ethics of Peacebuilding in Africa


Isike, Christopher. 2017. “Soft Power and a Feminist Ethics of Peacebuilding in Africa.” Peace Review 29 (3): 350–7.

Author: Christopher Isike


"It can be argued that the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States was a turning point in the global understanding of power, as it heralded a shift from conceptualizing power in its hard to soft sense as scholars such as Giulo Gallarotti have argued. Generally, soft power refers to a state’s ability to shape the preferences of others through intangible assets such as an attractive personality, culture, political values and institutions, and policies that are seen as legitimate or having moral authority. The increasing feminization of politics and power across the globe, and which Africa appears to fully embrace, presents a soft power resource which the continent can leverage as a political value to get recognition and admiration in the areas of global governance and peacebuilding. African women have a rich and long history of playing frontal roles in governance and peacebuilding in the continent that dates back to the precolonial era, and in spite of the disruptive effects of colonialism, they remain vital agents of moral and social regeneration, good governance, and sustainable peace in Africa. The following succinctly analyses the nexus between soft power, women, and peacebuilding in Africa with a view to teasing out a theoretical justification for an African feminist ethics of peacebuilding, which can be developed as a soft power resource for the continent" (Isike 2017, 350). 

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Governance, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa

Year: 2017

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