10329 Government and Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa 1

Credits: 6 advanced credits in Political Science

Prerequisites: 36 credits, including The Emergence of New States in Africa, and one of the following: Democracies and Dictatorships: Comparative Politics,2 State and Society: The Sociology of Politics, Government and Politics in Israel, Introduction to International Relations. Students must also fulfill all English requirements and take bibliographic instruction in the Library.

The course is based on a reader edited by Naomi Hazan and Benyamin Neuberger.

The course discusses basic issues common to African states south of the Sahara in their 50 years of independence. It addresses their political crystallization processes, examines their complex relations with heterogeneous societies, and presents the dilemmas and challenges they face, and ways of dealing with them. For example, how do African states deal with the troublesome colonial legacy? Why does the army play a pivotal role in African political life? How can we explain the two opposing processes taking place on the continent since the last decade of the 2oth century: democratization of African states and their disintegration?

Topics: From colony to independent state; Authoritarian regimes and a “soft” state; The relationship between the state and society in Africa; Regimes and changes of government; Democracy in Africa – roots of failure, seeds of hope; Economics and politics in the shadow of globalization; Rejection of the state and ethnic separatism.

1Students may write a seminar paper in this course, although it is not required.

2or Democracies and Dictatorships: Ideas, Contexts, Regimes (10660, 3 cr.) which is no longer offered.