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Lawyers in Africa: brokers of the state, intermediaries of globalization: a case study of the 'Africa' bar in Paris

Dezalay, Sara 2018. Lawyers in Africa: brokers of the state, intermediaries of globalization: a case study of the 'Africa' bar in Paris. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 25 (2) , pp. 639-669. 10.2979/indjglolegstu.25.2.0639

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Africa is the “Global Economy's Last Frontier”! Images of the African continent as a boon of mineral riches, and a new legal Far West pervade media and scholarly accounts. Yet, these images tend to reflect the protracted political and development dependency of African states, with lawyers involved in corporate dealings on the continent either denounced as mercenaries at the service of neo-colonial “looting” or idealized as missionaries of the rule of law. This article suggests a research strategy that moves away from these ideological and political accounts. It uses lawyers' trajectories and professional strategies as an entry-point to reglobalize the longue durée of the unequal and uneven connections between Africa and the world. The “Africa” Bar in Paris— the empirical focus of this article—emerges as a microcosm of such interconnected and enduring histories of globalization. Offshore, yet connected, this Bar is a “cross-roads” space across politics and economics, shaped by the legacies of the ties between Paris, the metropole, and its former African colonies, and ongoing waves of corporate legal globalization from the U.S. toward Europe and most recently the African continent.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
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Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISSN: 1080-0727
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 June 2018
Date of Acceptance: 7 April 2018
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 16:32

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