Political Science | African Politics
Y338 | 28214 | Hershey


Most of us have heard the reports during the past year of Jacob
Zumaís rise and Thabo Mbekiís resignation, about the post-election
upheaval in Kenya and the historic negotiation of a coalition
government in Zimbabwe.  However, the stories disappear from our
televisions as quickly as they come and we are left with little
context in which to understand or process them.  This course seeks
to provide that context, by exploring the depth and variety of
politics across sub-Saharan Africa.  We will move beyond simple
stereotypes and seek to gain a real understanding of the complex
history (from pre-colonial times to the present) and intricate
factors (such as colonial legacy, ethnicity, corruption and culture)
which have made African governments, and politics, what they are
today.  Further, this course will allow us the opportunity to
compare African nations with other countries in the developing world
as we test our understanding of governance and democracy.  We will
also pay special attention to the role of civil society in African
politics and development.  Finally, please note that Y338 is
intended to offer a broad survey of African politics and we will
make extensive use of individual country case studies to this end;
however, South Africa and the region of North Africa will receive
only nominal treatment in this course.  Students from all
disciplines, with or without a background in African studies or
political science, are welcome; there are no prerequisites for this
course.