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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of this book, which aims first and foremost to stimulate the exploration of African initiative and creativity and thus to serve as an introduction to the themes taken up by the second AEGIS European Conference on African Studies, held in Leiden on 11–14 July 2007. The book first explores the origins of the agency perspective and then argues that African societies have always demonstrated the ability to negotiate whatever constraining ecological, economic and political circumstances they faced. It then discusses the roots of the modern livelihood approach in current development policy debates. The book further shows how the livelihood approach, by putting more emphasis on the analysis of power relations, as is effectively done in gender studies, will enhance its sense of reality in Africa. This may also contribute to more contextualized ways of designing so-called pro-poor policies.

Keywords: AEGIS European Conference on African Studies; African societies; Leiden; modern livelihood approach; pro-poor policies

10.1163/ej.9789004161139.i-185.4
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004161139.i-185.4
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