Course Detail


Political Econ of African Dev


In this course we will use material from Global Political Economy and Comparative Sociology to trace evolution of contemporary African institutions (markets, states, and civil society) as the continent grapples with "development agenda," which to a large extent has influenced both the construction of national identities in the continent and the nature of African states' interactions with the rest of the world. We will use case studies from specific African nation-states to explore topics including: the enduring legacy of colonialism, African Socialism policies from independence to 1980s, adoption of neoliberal policies through Structural Adjustment Programs and the subsequent transitions to open-markets beginning in mid-1980s, the third wave of democratization (transitions to competitive politics) in the 1990s, and the recent popular uprisings in North Africa. Also, we will discuss other variables that are particular to contemporary African political economy including civil conflict, natural resources and corruption, foreign aid regimes, engagement with International Financial Institutions, such as the IMF and the World Bank, and the recent surge of Chinese economic presence in the continent.