There are three required books for this course:

  1. Robert Bates (2008), When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa (New York: Cambridge University Press)
  2. Celeste Hicks (2015), Africa’s New Oil: Power, Pipelines and Future Fortunes (London: Zed)
  3. Howard French (2014), China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa (New York: Vintage)

Note that when I say there are “required” texts, I mean only that I have assigned you to read them in their entirety, not that you must purchase them.  You are encouraged to share copies, form anarcho-syndicalist book-trading collectives, make gratuitous use of interlibrary loan, or do anything else necessary to make sure you have the texts to read and study from.

  • Tuesday, August 25: Introduction

Introduction to the course, review of the syllabus, initial lecture and discussion

  • Thursday, August 27: Creating and Operating the Colonial State 

Crawford Young (1988), “The African Colonial State and Its Political Legacy,” in Donald Rothchild and Naomi Chazan (eds), The Precarious Balance: State and Society in Africa (Boulder, CO: Westview Press), pp. 25-66

C.L. Temple (1918), Native Races and their Rulers (excepts, from A.H.M. Kirk-Greene’s The Principles of Native Administration in Nigeria, Selected Documents 1900-1947)

Steven Pierce (2006), “Looking like a State: Colonialism and the Discourse of Corruption in Northern Nigeria,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 48:4, pp. 887-914

  • Tuesday, September 1: Patterns of Colonial Legacies

Frederick Cooper (2002), Africa Since 1940: The Past of the Present (New York, Cambridge University Press), Chapters 2 and 3 (pp. 20-65)

Mahmood Mamdani (2001), “Beyond Settler and Native as Political Identities: Overcoming the Political Legacy of Colonialism,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 43:4, pp. 651-664

  • Thursday, September 3: Nationalism, Independence, and the Problems of Governing New African Nations

J.F. Ade Ajayi (1982), “Expectations of Independence,” Daedalus, 11:2, pp. 1-9

Martin Kilson (1963), “Authoritarian and Single-Party Tendencies in African Politics,” World Politics, 15:2, pp. 262-94

Crawford Young (1966), “Post-Independence Politics in the Congo,” Transition, 26, pp. 34-41

Julius Nyerere (1967), “The Arusha Declaration,” in Ujamaa: Essays on Socialism (New York: Oxford University Press), pp. 13-37

  • Tuesday, September 8: Governing a Weak State

Robert Bates (2008), When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa, pp. 3-32

  • Thursday, September 10: State Failure, Violence, and Development in Late-Modern Africa

Robert Bates (2008), When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa, pp. 33-139 [skip  pp. 75-96]

Will Reno (2006), “Congo: From State Collapse to ‘Absolutism,’ to State Failure,” Third World Quarterly, 27:1, pp. 43-56

  • Tuesday, September 15: No Class, Professor Giving Lecture in Accra
  • Thursday, September 17: The Weak African State in International Perspective

Robert Jackson and Carl Rosberg (1982), “Why Africa’s Weak States Persist: The Empirical and the Juridical in Statehood,” World Politics, 35:1, pp. 1-24

Pierre Englebert (2009), Africa: Unity, Sovereignty, & Sorrow (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner), Chapter 4, “The Domestic Currency of International Sovereignty,” pp. 59-98

  • Tuesday, September 22:  Dependency vs. Extraversion—What’s Africa’s Place in the Global Political Order? 

Jean-Francois Bayart (2000), “Africa in the World: A History of Extraversion,” African Affairs, 99, pp. 217-67

  • Thursday, September 24: The Two Publics in Africa 

Peter Ekeh (1975), “Colonialism and the Two Publics in Africa: A Theoretical Statement,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 17:1, pp. 91-112

Michael Schatzberg (2001), Political Legitimacy in Middle Africa: Father, Food, Family (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press), Chapters 1, 5 and 6, “Metaphor and Matrix,” “Matrix I-The Father-Chief: Rights and Responsibilities,” “Matrix II-Gender and Generations: Women, the Paternal Order, and the Alternation of Power,” pp. 1-35, 145-200

  • Tuesday, September 29: The Private and the Public in Action—Two Visions of Clientelism in Nigeria 

Daniel Smith (2001), “Ritual Killing, 419, and Fast Wealth: Inequality and the Popular Imagination in Southeastern Nigeria,” American Ethnologist, 28:4, pp. 803-26

Ayokulne O. Omobowale and Akinpelu O. Olutayo (2007), “Chief Lamidi Adedibu and Patronage Politics in Nigeria,” Journal of Modern African Studies, 45:3, pp. 425–446

  • Thursday, October 1: Documentary – An African Election (Ghana, 2008)
  • Tuesday, October 6: Bringing Democracy into the Mix – What Happens when Clientelism Gets Competitive?

Mariane Ferme (1999), “Staging Politisi: The Dialogics of Publicity and Secrecy in Sierra Leone,” in John and Jean Comaroff (eds), Civil Society and the Political Imagination in Africa, pp. 160-91

Nicolas Van de Walle (2003), “Presidentialism and Clientelism in Africa’s Emerging Party Systems,” Journal of Modern African Studies, 41:2, pp. 297-321

Pedro Vincente (2014), “Is Vote Buying Effective? Evidence from a Field Experiment in West Africa,” The Economic Journal, 124, F356–F387

  •  Thursday, October 8: Voting in Today’s Africa—Still Ethnic, or Increasingly Partisan? 

Danielle Resnick (2012), “Opposition Parties and the Urban Poor in African Democracies,” Comparative Political Studies, 45:11, pp. 1351-78

Jeffrey Conroy-Krutz (2013), “Information and Ethnic Politics in Africa,” British Journal of Political Science, 43:2, pp. 345-373

Michael Bratton and Carolyn Logan (2014), “From Elections to Accountability in Africa?,” Governance in Africa, 1:1, art. 3

  • Tuesday, October 13: No Class, Paper Progress Meetings
  • Thursday, October 15: The Trouble With African Economies? Trajectories of Failure and Reform 

Todd Moss (2011), African Development: Making Sense of the Issues and Actors, pp. 91-104

David Leonard and Scott Straus (2003), Africa’s Stalled Development: International Causes & Cures, pp. 1-35

  •  Tuesday, October 20: Structural Adjustment (and Why it Usually Fails) 

Todd Moss (2011), African Development: Making Sense of the Issues and Actors, pp. 105-19

Jeffrey Herbst (1990), “The Structural Adjustment of African Politics,”  World Development, 18:7, pp. 949-58

Morten Jerven (2014), “African growth miracle or statistical tragedy? Interpreting trends in the data over the past two decades,” UNU-Wider Working Paper, 2014/114

  •  Thursday, October 22: Life, Structurally Adjusted 

Janet MacGaffey (1983), “How to Survive and Become Rich amidst Devastation: The Second Economy in Zaire,” African Affairs, 82, pp. 351-66

Aili Mari Tripp (1989), “Women and the Changing Urban Household Economy in Tanzania,”Journal of Modern African Studies, 27, pp. 601-23

  • Tuesday, October 27: Film – Nairobi Half Life
  •  Thursday, October 29: African Development, Inc. 

James Ferguson with Larry Lohmann (1994), “The Anti-Politics Machine: ‘Development’ and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho,” The Ecologist, 24:5, pp. 176-181

William Brown (2013), “Sovereignty Matters: Africa, Donors, and the Aid Relationship,” African Affairs, 112, pp. 262-82

Ryan Jablonski (2014), “How Aid Targets Votes: The Impact of Electoral Incentives on Foreign Aid Distribution,” World Politics, 66:2, pp. 293-330

  • Tuesday, November 3: Peer Review Exercise (no outside reading)
  • Thursday, November 5: Africa’s Resource Curse? (I)

Michael Ross (2012), The Oil Curse (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press), pp. 27-62

Celeste Hicks (2015), Africa’s New Oil: Power, Pipelines, and Future Fortunes (London: Zed), pp. 1-104

  • Tuesday, November 10: Africa’s Resource Curse? (II)

Celeste Hicks (2015), Africa’s New Oil: Power, Pipelines, and Future Fortunes (London: Zed), pp. 105-209

Benoit Faucon and Drew Hinshaw, “A Tiny Oil Platform, One Big Mystery,”Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2014

  • Thursday, November 12: China in Africa: An Alternative Development Model? (I) 

Howard French (2014), China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa (New York: Vintage), Introduction – Chapter 5

Deborah Brautigam and Tang Xiaoyang (2011), “African Shenzhen: China’s Special Economic Zones in Africa,” Journal of Modern African Studies, 49:1, pp. 27-54

  • Tuesday, November 17: China in Africa: An Alternative Development Model? (II) 

Howard French (2014), China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa (New York: Vintage), Chapter 6 – Epilogue

Giles Mohan and Ben Lampert (2013), “Negotiating China:Reinserting African Agency into China-Africa Relations,” African Affairs, 112, pp. 92-110

  • Thursday, November 19: No Class, Professor at African Studies Association Annual Meeting
  • Tuesday, November 24: An Overview of Political Violence in Africa—Types, Causes, and (maybe) Solutions

William Reno (2009), “The Evolution of Warfare in Africa,” Afrika Focus, 22:1, pp. 7-19

Scott Straus (2012), “Wars Do End! Changing Patterns of Political Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa,” African Affairs, 111, pp. 179-201

  • Thursday, November 26: No Class, Thanksgiving Break
  • Tuesday, December 1: Africa’s War on Terror (1), w/in-class film, Timbuktu

Clionadh Raleigh and C. Dowd (2013), “Governance and Conflict in the Sahel’s ‘Ungoverned Space,'” Stability, 2:2, art. 32

Jaimie Bleck and Kristin Michelitch (forthcoming), “The 2012 Crisis in Mali: Ongoing Empirical State Failure,” African Affairs

  • Thursday, December 3: Africa’s War on Terror (II)

Christopher Day and Will Reno (2014), “In Harm’s Way: African Counter-Insurgency and Patronage Politics,” Civil Wars, 16:2, pp. 105-26

David Anderson and Jacob McKnight (2015), “Kenya at War: Al-Shabaab and its Enemies in Eastern Africa,” African Affairs i, 114, pp. 1-2



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