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Politics of Africa (359-0-20)


Zekeria Ahmed Salem Denna
620 Library Place, Room 204

Meeting Info

University Hall 101: Tues, Thurs 12:30PM - 1:50PM

Overview of class

This course is an introduction to politics in contemporary sub-Saharan Africa. The core questions
framing the course are: What is African about African politics? How do colonial legacy and international political economy shape African states? How is politics practiced on the continent? What explains Africa's uneven economic trajectories and diverse patterns of conflicts? How to
explain the large variation within Africa in the strength of the state, the levels of economic growth and respect for democratic institutions? What role identities (ethnic, religious and class) play out in politics? What are the current dilemmas and questions in African politics? The course is organized around the following themes: the formation of the state in Africa; the practice of power, regime types and forms of government, the role of religion, identity and politics; the challenges of development and the economic dimensions of African politics; authoritarianism and democratic experiments; violence, terror, and security; Africa in world politics. While the course is not designed as a study of individual countries, in exploring the themes and trends that dominate politics across Africa, we draw on case studies from a variety of countries on the continent.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
- Develop a nuanced analysis of African politics and improve their ability to communicate their own educated opinions regarding politics in Africa.
- Apply comparative politics concepts to the study of African politics.
- Contextualize and compare major political trends in African politics and relate them to political
trends elsewhere.

Class Materials (Required)

Kevin C. Dunn and Pierre Englebert. 2019. Inside African Politics. 2nd edition. Paperback.
Boulder, Co. Lynne Rienner Publishers. ISBN 978-1626378070.

Class Attributes

Social & Behavioral Sciences Distro Area