An Introduction to African Politics / Edition 3

An Introduction to African Politics / Edition 3

by Alex Thomson
Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis
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An Introduction to African Politics / Edition 3

An Introduction to African Politics is an ideal textbook for those new to the study of this vast and often daunting continent. It makes sense of the richly diverse political systems that are a feature of Africa by breaking them down into their component parts. The result is a textbook that identifies the essential features of African politics, allowing students to grasp the recurring themes present throughout the politics of the region.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780415479561
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 07/12/2010
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsviii
Preface to the second editionix
1Introduction: state, civil society and external interests1
Why study African politics?1
The multiple political systems of Africa3
The book's thematic approach3
State, civil society and external interests4
2History: Africa's pre-colonial and colonial inheritance7
The pre-colonial inheritance8
The colonial inheritance11
State and civil society21
Case study: Kenya's historical inheritance23
3Ideology: nationalism, socialism, populism and state capitalism31
Decolonisation in Africa32
African nationalism36
The differing ideological shades of African nationalism37
State and civil society44
Case study: socialism and ujamaa in Tanzania50
4Ethnicity and religion: 'tribes', gods and political identity59
Definitions of ethnicity60
The creation of 'tribes'61
Ethnicity as a method of modern political mobilisation64
Religion and African politics67
State and civil society71
Case study: ethnicity and the nation-state in Nigeria73
5Social class: the search for class politics in Africa82
Marx on social class83
The problems of exporting Marx to Africa84
The African mode of production85
A more flexible look at social class in Africa87
Identifiable social groups within African society88
The value of class analysis in explaining African politics96
State and civil society99
Case study: social class in Botswana100
6Legitimacy: neo-patrimonialism, personal rule and the centralisation of the African state107
Centralisation of the African state108
Personal rule115
The search for legitimacy118
State and civil society120
Case study: personal rule in Cote d'Ivoire122
7Coercion: military intervention in African politics129
African military coups d'etat130
Why has Africa experienced so many military coups?134
Problems facing military rulers137
The outcomes of military rule in Africa139
State and civil society141
Case study: Uganda's 1971 military coup142
8Sovereignty I: external influences on African politics149
Inter-African international relations151
Superpowers, the Cold War and Africa152
The impact of the Cold War on African politics158
Africa and the New World Order159
State, civil society and external interests164
Case study: Somalia's international relations166
9Sovereignty II: neo-colonialism, structural adjustment and Africa's political economy175
Burdens of the international economy179
The African debt crisis181
The era of structural adjustment183
The consequences of structural adjustment185
State, civil society and external interests189
Case study: Ghana's structural adjustment192
10Authority: the crises of accumulation, governance and state collapse200
The growing crisis of state legitimacy201
The loss of state authority207
The state's own survival strategies212
State and civil society215
Case study: Zaire - Mobutu's vampire state217
11Democracy: re-legitimising the African state?228
Explaining the emergence of multi-party democracy232
The obstacles to democratic consolidation236
State and civil society244
Case study: the search for democracy in Algeria246
12Conclusions: state and civil society in post-colonial Africa255
AppendixA guide to African politics resources on the internet260

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