Reflections on epistemological pluralism: Not either/or but either/and

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Richard Jurgens


The editorial reviews the articles of this edition, which employ a range of research methodologies and look at very different topics in Lesotho, Zimbabwe and South Africa, as well as broader-ranging issues in West Africa and the continent,. The range of topics and methodologies reflects something of the journal’s multi- and interdisciplinary ambitions, the editor argues. Appropriately, the idea of epistemological pluralism is a major feature of thinking about research in the African context. The challenges facing African governance currently – and indeed, in the foreseeable future – require a wide range of research insight and, consequently, of epistemologies and their associated methodologies for governance to be effective. Yet the idea of epistemological pluralism is frequently misunderstood or misdirected. Too often in the postcolonial context, a binary opposition between continental forms of knowledge is adopted, while often too, "Western" research is projected as being based on a narrow positivism that has long since been superseded. The editor concludes by urging that epistemological pluralism, if it is to mean anything, must be genuinely inclusive. 


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How to Cite
Jurgens, R. (2022). Reflections on epistemological pluralism: Not either/or but either/and. The Africa Governance Papers, 1(2), 1–9. Retrieved from


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