Module Identifier IP33520  
Module Title POWER, CONFLICT AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Rita Abrahamsen  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   16 Hours. (16 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   8 Hours. (8 x 1 hour)  
Assessment
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  60%
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 2000 words  30%
Semester Assessment Report: 1 x 500-800 word country report  10%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module students should be able to:

- identify the main problems to challenges and account for instances of conflict, state collapse and warlordism on the continent.
- explain the development and prevalence of neo-patrimonialism, clientelism & authoritarianism on the continent
- critically assess the extent to which recent transitions to democracy have transformed state-society relations   
- account for instances of state collapse and warlordism on the continent
- describe some of the ways in which global forces impact on domestic state-society relations
- apply the general concepts and theories of African politics to specific empirical examples


Brief description

Many of our images of Africa are of famine, corruption, civil war and ethnic hatred. While there is no denying the prevalence of deprivation and violence on the continent, these images often obscure more than they convey about contemporary African politics. Africa is also a place of dynamic change and of economic, political and cultural transformations, signified most notably by the last decade¿s developments in South Africa, as well as the launch of the African Union and NEPAD. This module seeks to provide students with the theoretical and conceptual tools for analysing recent developments in sub-Saharan Africa, and covers some of the main debates and issues in the study of politics on the continent.

The central focus of the module is on the relationship between state and society, or between rulers and ruled. Our point of departure is the observation that at independence African leaders shared one crucial challenge; the need to establish political authority over their territories and to forge bonds of solidarity between state and society. 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 key concepts such as nationalism, ethnicity and class, and their role in African politics.

Content

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 assess contemporary explanations of the prevalence of conflict, state collapse, and the rise of warlordism, and examine the way in which international/global forces influence domestic politics and state-society relations, including the imposition of structural adjustment programmes, the end of the cold war, and 'war on terrorism'. Finall, the module assesses the promise of NEPAD for Africa's future.

Lectures:
1: Introduction.
2: Colonialism and its Legacies.
3: The Nationalist Challenge.
4. The State¿s Hegemonic Mission.
5: The Centralisation of Power.
6: Clients and Patrons in the Patrimonial State.
7: The Politics of Ethnicity.
8: Class Politics.
9: Africa in the New World Order.
10: Structural Adjustment and State-Society Relations.
11: Democratic Challenges and Recycled Elites.
12: Partnerships and the Politics of PRSPs.
13: The Political Economy of War.
14: The Failed State Thesis.
15: Renaissance, NEPAD and `Our Common Interest?
16: Conclusion.

Aims

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

Transferable skills

Students will have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of transferable skills which will help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas. Throughout the course, students should practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as basic numeracy skills and self management skills. In lectures students will develop listening and note taking skills, as well as analytical skills. In seminars students will enhance their analytical skills and will practice listening, explaining and debating skills, as well as team work and problem solving. Essay writing will encourage students to practice their independent research, writing and IT skills, and the examination will test these skills under time constraint conditions.

10 ECTS credits

Reading Lists

Books
** Recommended Text
A Thomson (2000) An Introduction to African Politics Routledge
N Chazan, Lewis et al (1999) Politics and Society in Contemporary Africa Lynne Rienner

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6