Module Identifier IP33520  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Rita Abrahamsen  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Course delivery Lecture   16 Hours 16 x 1 hour  
  Seminars / Tutorials   8 Hours 8 x 1 hour  
Assessment Report   500-800 word country report   10%  
  Essay   2000 words   30%  
  Exam   2 Hours   60%  


By the end of the module students should be able to:

10 ECTS Credits


The aim of this module is to introduce students to some of main debates and issues in the study of politics in contemporary sub-Saharan Africa.

At independence African leaders shared one crucial problem; the need to establish political authority over their territories and to forge bonds of solidarity between state and society, rulers and ruled. These territories frequently embodied ethnically, linguistically and culturally separate peoples, and in this sense most African countries were states before they were nations. The module examines the difficulties of establishing political legitimacy and constructing nation-states under such conditions, as well as the various results of the state?s quest for hegemony, most notably neo-patrimonialism, clientelism, and authoritarianism.   

The module also explores society's response to the politics of exclusion and in particular the recent wave of democratisation on the continent. We explore state collapse, the rise of warlordism when structures of authority and political order fall apart. Finally, the module examines the way in which international/global forces influence domestic politics and state-society relations, focusing on the imposition of structural adjustment programmes, the end of the cold war and the use of mercenaries.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
C Clapham. Third World Politics. An Introduction.
N Chazan, Lewis et al. Politics and Society in Contemporary Africa.