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Strings AttachedAIDS and the Rise of Transnational Connections in Africa$
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Nadine Beckmann, Alessandro Gusman, and Catrine Shroff

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265680

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265680.001.0001

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The Strings, Strains and Strides of Transnational Competencies and Complex Ambiguities

(p.337) 16 Epilogue
Strings Attached

Rijk van Dijk

British Academy

The chapters in this book demonstrate how transnational connections in Africa often appear as a source of ambiguity in formations that otherwise are ideologically perceived as bounded, autonomous entities. The experience of the transnational is often fraught with sentiments, ranging from fear to fascination, from anxiety to hope and aspiration. Given this dynamic of both anxiety about and eagerness for engaging in transnational relations, the Epilogue argues that there is a socially felt need among religious groups in many African societies for developing a transnational competence, especially in the sensitive field of HIV/AIDS, in order to successfully manage engagement with transnational relations and connections. This is grounded in the experience that, on the one hand, transnational connections have indeed allowed local people, organisations and institutions to make big steps forward in using religious linkages in the fight against AIDS and in changing notions of sexuality. Yet, on the other hand, while these connections are often being celebrated locally, the Epilogue argues that the enormous strains transnational relations can create for the local communities and organisations to live up to the expectations of external partners, donors and policies, should not be overlooked.

Keywords:   Transnational relations, transnational competence, HIV/AIDS, religion, Africa

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