An Introduction to African Politics / Edition 3

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The second edition of An Introduction to African Politics is an ideal textbook for those new to the study of this continent. It gets to the heart of the politics of this part of the world. How is modern Africa still influenced by its colonial past? How do strong ethnic identities on the continent affect government? Why has the military been so influential? Why do African states have such difficulty managing their economies? How does African democracy differ from democracy in the West? These are the sort of questions tackled by the book. The result is a textbook that identifies the essential features of African politics, allowing students to grasp the recurring political patterns that have dominated this continent since independence.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'The diversity of African politics is further illustrated by the inclusion of detailed case studies of individual countries, accompanied by boxed summaries of the main point in each chapter. This is a textbook which is well-presented and user friendly.' - The Times

"No student of Sub-Saharan African politics can afford to be without this text. It is, by a quite considerable degree, the best current work in the field" - Adrian Flint, University of Bristol, UK

Praise for the previous edition:

'This is an excellent book of great use for students. It represents a significant contribution to the study of politics in Africa.' - Jeff Haynes, London Metropolitan University, UK

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415479561
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/12/2010
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex Thomson is a Principal Lecturer in Politics at Coventry University. His books include Constructive Engagement: US Foreign Policy Towards South Africa, 1981– 1988 (Ashgate, 1996), Get Set for Politics (with Keith Faulks and Ken Phillips, Edinburgh University Press, 2003), and U.S. Foreign Policy Towards Apartheid South Africa, 1948-1994: Conflict of Interests (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008).

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction : state, civil society and external interests 1
2 History : Africa's pre-colonial and colonial inheritance 7
3 Ideology : nationalism, socialism, populism and state capitalism 31
4 Ethnicity and religion : 'tribes', gods and political identity 59
5 Social class : the search for class politics in Africa 82
6 Legitimacy : neo-patrimonialism, personal rule and the centralisation of the African state 107
7 Coercion : military intervention in African politics 129
8 Sovereignty I : external influences on African politics 149
9 Sovereignty II : neo-colonialism, structural adjustment and Africa's political economy 175
10 Authority : the crises of accumulation, governance and state collapse 200
11 Democracy : re-legitimising the African state? 228
12 Conclusions : state and civil society in post-colonial Africa 255
App A guide to African politics resources on the Internet 260
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