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Course Details

Fall 2013-2014
* POL 366 (SA)  

Politics in Africa

Jennifer A. Widner

This course provides an introduction to the study of African politics. The lectures and readings briefly review the social and historical context of contemporary political life. They then profile the changes of the early post-Independence period, the authoritarian turn of the 1970s and 80s, the second liberation of the 1990s, and problems of war, state-building, and development. Although the lectures trace a narrative, each also introduces a major analytical debate and an important policy problem. Broadly comparative with some special attention to selected countries.

Sample reading list:
Bates, Markets & States in Tropical Africa
Sen, Poverty & Famines
Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah
Herbst, States and Power in Africa
Widner, Building the Rule of Law
Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Uses history, biography, film, and novels as well as more conventional political science texts. The reading load varies with the type of material but generally runs 150-200 pages per week. Writing assignments are short papers that focus on data analysis, legal reasoning, and other important skills. Each paper counts 20%. There will be a final paper that uses data that the teaching staff will provide.

Requirements/Grading:
Take Home Final Exam - 25%
Quizzes - 5%
Papers - 60%
Class/Precept Participation - 10%

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
No previous knowledge of Africa is required..

Other information:
Films available outside of class time.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
21927 L01 9:00 am - 9:50 am T Th   Aaron Burr Hall   219   Enrolled:48 Limit:
P01 10:00 am - 10:50 am T   Aaron Burr Hall   213   Enrolled:12 Limit:14
P02 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm T   Robertson Hall   006   Enrolled:12 Limit:14
P03 2:30 pm - 3:20 pm T   Robertson Hall   006   Enrolled:7 Limit:14
P04 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm T   Robertson Hall   006   Enrolled:7 Limit:14
P05 10:00 am - 10:50 am W   Corwin Hall   126   Enrolled:9 Limit:14