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Global Flows: Terror, Oil, and Strategic Philanthropy

  • Sandra T. Barnes

Abstract:

U.S. involvement in Africa is growing following threats of terrorism and interruptions in oil production and because of desires by foreign corporations to expand their activities on the continent. The response of American policymakers has been to establish a stronger military presence that will engage in counterterrorism initiatives and police oil installations. The goals and extent of this buildup, and the ideology legitimating it, are new. They are departures from Cold War policies. Similarly, the response of American business leaders to weaknesses in the infrastructure and political order of African states leads them to establish their own forms of community development, known as strategic philanthropy, so as to protect and expand local markets. Despite these major developments, the media are not informing the public. This article examines the implications of these military and business initiatives for African nations and the reasons for lack of information about them.

Résumé:

L'implication américaine en Afrique se renforce aujourd'hui, suite aux menaces terroristes et aux interruptions de la production de pétrole, aussi bien qu'à l'intérêt d'entreprises étrangères d'étendre leurs activités sur le continent. La stratégie adoptée par les politiques américains en réponse à ces développements a été d'établir une présence militaire plus importante, pour participer aux initiatives antiterroristes et à la protection des installations pétrolières. Les objectifs et la portée de ces actions ainsi que l'idéologie sousjacente sont nouveaux. Ils constituent une stratégie différente, se démarquant de celles adoptées lors de la guerre froide. De même, la réponse des chefs d'entreprise américains aux faiblesses de l'infrastructure et de l'ordre politique des états africains amènent les politiques américains à établir leur propre forme de développement communautaire, connu sous le nom de philanthropie stratégique, et destiné à protéger et étendre les marchés locaux. En dépit de ces développements majeurs, les médias n'informent pas le public. Cet essai examine les implications de ces initiatives militaires et économiques pour les nations africaines ainsi que les raisons du manque d'information à leur sujet.

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Global Flows: Terror, Oil, and Strategic Philanthropy

  • Sandra T. Barnes

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