Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name



Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Abi Awomolo

Second Advisor

Dr. F.S.J. Ledgister

Third Advisor

Dr. Hashim Gibrill


This study examines the descriptive utility of a meta-theoretical approach over the traditionally applied general theory approach to African International Relations. It argues in favor of the meta-theoretical approach commonly employed in US foreign policy studies as yielding greater explanatory capacity to describing the behavior and relations of the African state than traditional approaches based on a single primary determinant. It suggests that a multiple primary determinant approach to assessing African state behavior and relations grants greater theoretical and empirical parallels to state and system structure and behavior than analysis based on a single determinant.

This study builds a meta-theory of International Relations (metafunctionalism) by which to assess African state behavior and relations utilizing the most commonly applied and descriptive conventional and non-conventional theories within the discipline. Metafunctionalism combines multiple theoretical approaches while negating the contradictions between them that would limit their relative explanatory capacity. It employs the theories of functionalism, evolution, realism, liberalism, neomarxism(international class theory). The presentation of a metafunctional model of African International Relations will provide an alternative lens by which to view African state behavior and relations and address the fundamental problems of “description” and “consensus” within African political discourse.

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