Contending Issues in African Development: Advances, Challenges, and the Future

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Taking a forward-looking approach, this book critically examines the issues and dynamics central to Africa's problematic development and situates these issues within the contents unique cultural, political, economic, and social milieu. Moving away from a simple litany of problems bedeviling Africa's economy, the book is the culmination of several scholars' efforts to identify specific causative factors. Each chapter delineates a specific issue, demonstrates the role it plays in overall development, and speculates on probable ways to meet the challenges it poses. The major conceptual and epistemological constructs considered include the tamed African State, social capacity, management of change, reconceptualized gender roles, and economic integration.

Although the contributors' various approaches diverge and disagree, the epistemological variations contribute cumulatively to an understanding of the issues at the root of Africa's slow pace of development. While traversing the spectrum of issues that affect development, the book uniquely points out that the management of change is pivotal to fostering development. The authors' efforts provide a useful base for future research and help to chart a course of action leading to success in the 21st century.

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Editorial Reviews

Iheduru (political science, Fort Valley State U., Georgia) presents 15 contributions from a variety of social science disciplines that examine the unique environmental, cultural, political, and economic issues that undergird and determine the direction of African development. Each chapter attempts to deal with specific issue areas and to determine to role of that issue area in the overall development process. Among the topics explored are the role of the African state in managing resources, the role of civil societies in the development of democracy and democratic institutions, a comparative analysis of human rights in the African and Western senses, the impact of structural adjustment programs (SAPs) on the African economy, the role of women in African development, and the possible benefits of regional integration proposals. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Meet the Author

OBIOMA M. IHEDURU is Associate Professor of Political Science and Co-director of the Center for Social Science Research at Fort Valley State University.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I Introduction 1
1 Conflicts and Convergence in African Development Thinking 3
Pt. II Bring Back the State: From Instability to Consolidation 17
2 The Political Economy of State Reconstitution in Africa 19
3 The Mass Media and Political Stability in Africa: A Utilitarian Theory Approach 45
4 Africa between the Meiji Restoration and the Legacy of Ataturk: Comparative Dilemmas of Modernization 69
Pt. III Building Social Capacity: Civil Society, Democratization, and Human Rights 87
5 Civil Society and Democratic Development in Eastern and Southern Africa 89
6 The State and Human Rights in Africa 101
7 Democratization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Problems, Advances, and Prospects 121
8 Prolegomena to an African-Western Ethics and Theory of Rights 137
Pt. IV Political Economy and the Management of Change 165
9 Toward Democracy and Security in Africa: What Prospects Exist for the Sustainable Development of Civil Societies? 167
10 Nigeria: The Dynamics of Agricultural Policy in a Restructuring Economy 187
11 Women and Sustainable Development in Africa 213
Pt. V Regional Integration and Sustainable Development 239
12 Evaluation of the State of Integration in Africa: How to Strengthen the African Economic Community 241
13 West African Regionalism Revisited: Cooperative Management of the Senegal and Gambia Water Resources 261
14 The Politics of Regional Integration and Development in Africa: Issues, Limitations, and Prospects 277
Pt. VI Conclusion 293
15 Redefining the African State: Political Capacity in the Post-Reform Era 295
Index 315
About the Contributors 339
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