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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Spring 2006

GOV 365N • 1 - Politics in Contemporary Africa

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37950 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
BUR 116

Course Description

Course number may be repeated for credit when topics vary. This course is for students who are interested in understanding politics in modern Africa. It is also for students interested in understanding how African countries are different from, and similar to, developing countries elsewhere in the world. We address the following questions:  What factors promote and impede economic development in Africa? How much democracy exists in contemporary Africa, and what factors determine whether democratic political systems can exist and survive?  How has the process of globalization affected African countries?  What is US foreign policy toward Africa?  The course uses history, social science, novels, and films to analyze these issues.

Grading Policy

Grades will be based on the results of two exams and two short writing assignments. 


Tentative list. Please check the Spring '06 syllabus for the definitive list of required texts. Frederick Cooper, Africa since 1940: The Past of the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2002), Richard Sandbrook, Closing the Circle: Democratization and Development in Africa. Toronto and London, Zed Books, 2000. Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, London: Heinemann, any ed. Ferdinand Oyono, Houseboy, Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, any ed. Chinua Achebe, A Man of the People, London: Heinemann, any ed.


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