This course introduces students to modern African politics, focusing on the region’s political trends and trajectories from the colonial era to the present. We begin by studying the region’s political experiences through the turn of the 21st century before turning to current dilemmas and questions in African politics. Particular attention is paid to the prospects for and constraints on economic development and democratic consolidation and contemporary challenges, such as the rise of new forms of political participation and political challenges to the state. Reoccurring themes include the interaction of formal and informal institutions in African societies, Africa’s position in the global economy and the nature of the state in Africa, highlighting throughout both what is specific to Africa and its sub-regions and where the continent’s politics find broader comparability with other world regions.
Subfield: Comparative Politics
Instructor: Melanie Phillips