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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2008 - 2009

Module Title Politics & Development in Africa
Module Code LG542
School School of Law & Government

Online Module Resources

Level 5 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Module Aims

to introduce students to the key political, social and economic issues facing Africa;

to critically examine the roles and responsibilities of different external and internal actors;

to explore the interplay between economic decline and political decay and regeneration;

to explore African alternatives and programmes for renewal .

Learning Outcomes

To develop an understanding of Africa’s current challenges and opportunities, and to situate those within a global frame of reference.   

Indicative Time Allowances
Lectures 12
Tutorials 0
Laboratories 0
Seminars 0
Independent Learning Time 138

Total 150
Assume that a 10 credit module load represents approximately 150 hours' work, which includes all teaching, in-course assignments, laboratory work or other specialised training and an estimated private learning time associated with the module.

Indicative Syllabus
  • Historical background: some key legacies from pre-colonialism, colonialism and post-colonialism.
  • The African State

             participation, political parties and state capacity

  • The Construction of Ethnicity, Conflict and Democracy
  • External Intervention, “Crisis” Management and the World Bank/IMF
  • Africa and the International System
  • The African Union and other other ‘sub’ regional organisations
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Indicative Reading List

Ake, Claude. Democracy and Development in Africa. Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institute, 1996.

Bratton, Michael and Nicholas van de Walle. Democratic Experiments in Africa: Regime Transitions in Comparative Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Chabal, Patrick & Jean-Pascal Daloz. Africa Works: Disorder as Political Instrument. Oxford: International African Institute in association with James Currey, 1999.

Graham Harrison, Issues in the Contemporary Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002).

Kevane, Michael, Women and development in Africa : how gender works. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2003).

Leonard, David K. and Scott Straus, Africa’s Stalled Development: International Causes and Cures (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2003).

Mkandawire, Thandika and Charles Soludo (eds.) African Voices on Structural Adjustment (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2003).

Onimode, Bade et al., African Development and Governance Strategies in the 21st Century (London: Zed, 2004).

Salih, Mohammed ed. African Political Parties – Evolution, Institutionalisation and Governance. London: Pluto Press, 2003.

Smith, Brian C. Understanding Third World Politics: Theories of Political Change and Development. 2nd Ed. Bloomington, Indiana University Press.

van de Walle, Nicolas, Nicole Ball and Vijaya Ramachandram Beyond structural adjustment : the institutional context of African development., (Palgrave, 2003.)


Programme or List of Programmes
GDISGraduate Dip in Intercultural Studies
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
MAIOMA in International Organisations
MDEVMA in Development
MIRMA in International Relations
MISCMA in International Security & Conflict