Purpose of the Course

This course aims to introduce students to the key issues in politics, development and security in Sub-Saharan Africa, providing them with the theoretical and conceptual tools to evaluate and analyze these issues. While the diversity of countries, languages, cultures, histories and political structures across the continent make this a challenging course, the commonalities of experiences across African States from colonialism through to the present facilitate an analysis and understanding of many important aspects. The peculiarities of the African State and its relationship to both domestic societies, as well as to the international system, will provide a conceptual focus of this course.

Expected Learning outcomes

By the end of this course learners will be in a position to:

1.      Assess and discuss key features of African Politics, such as the colonial legacy, neo-patrimonialism, ethnic identity, structural adjustment policies and their effects on the continent, democratization and politics of aid;

2.      Analyze the State-Society relationship in Africa in a variety of contexts e.g. from a security, development, democratization and human rights dimension and from different theoretical perspectives;

3.      Engage with these theoretical debates and literature through concrete case studies from different African countries and regions;

4.      Reflect on the nature of ‘Africa’, ‘African Politics’ and the ‘African Renaissance’ concepts as discrete units of study or analysis.