Schedule

A Note on Readings

There are three required books for this course:

  1. Robert Bates (2008), When Things Fall Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa (New York: Cambridge University Press)
  2. David Leonard and Scott Straus (2003), Africa’s Stalled Development: International Causes & Cures (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Press)
  3. Jason Stearns (2011), Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa (New York: PublicAffairs)

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, or do anything else necessary to make sure you have the texts to read and study from.

PROLOGUE: AN INTRODUCTION TO CURRENT TRENDS IN AFRICAN POLITICS RESEARCH

  • Monday, March 26: Introduction

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

  • Wednesday, March 28: Background Day (Colonialism and Independence)

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

Recommended Background:
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

COURSE MODULE 1: AFRICA’S WEAK STATES

  • Monday, April 2: State Failure, Violence, and Development (I)

Robert Bates (2008), When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa, pp. 1-93

  •  Wednesday, April 4: State Failure, Violence, and Development (II)

Robert Bates (2008), When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa, pp. 97-139 [Skim the appendix—graduate students should play closer attention.]

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

  • Monday, April 9: The African State in International and Historical 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

COURSE MODULE 2: THE TERMS OF POLITICAL COMPETITION IN AFRICA

  • Wednesday, April 11: 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

  • Monday, April 16: 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

  • Wednesday, April 18:  Voting in Africa

Christoper Blattman (2009), “From Violence to Voting: War and Political Participation in Uganda,” American Political Science Review, 103:2, pp. 231-47

Daniel Young (2007), “Is Clientelism at Work in African Elections? A Study of Voting Behavior in Kenya and Zambia,” Afrobarometer Working Paper #106

COURSE MODULE 3: WHY AFRICA GROWS SLOWLY

  • Monday, April 23The Structure of Economic Production and Economic Reform

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

Todd Moss (2007), African Development: Making Sense of the Issues and Actors, pp. 87-116

  • Wednesday, April 25Slow Economic Growth in Africa? History, the World, and Institutions

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson (2010), “Why is Africa Poor?Economic History of Developing Regions, 25:1, pp. 21-50

  • Monday, April 30: Slow Growth in Practice—Experiencing African Economies in Daily Life

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

Kate Meagher (2009), “Trading on Faith: Religious Movements and Informal Economic Governance in Nigeria,” Journal of Modern African Studies, 47:3, pp. 397-423

Adeline Masquelier (2001), “Behind the Dispensary’s Prosperous Façade: Imagining the State in Rural Niger,” Public Culture, 13:2, pp. 267-292

  • Wednesday, May 2: African Development, Inc

William Easterly and Tobias Pfutze (2008), “Where Does the Aid Go? Best and Worst Practices in Foreign Aid,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 22:2, pp. 29-52

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

  • Monday, May 7: Peer Review Workshop

COURSE MODULE 4: POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN AFRICA

  • Wednesday, May 9: An Overview of Political Violence in Africa—Types, Causes, and (maybe) Solutions

David Leonard and Scott Straus (2003), Africa’s Stalled Development, pp. 57-101

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

  •  Monday, May 14: The Congo Wars (I)

Jason Stearns (2011), Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa (New York: PublicAffairs), Introduction to Chapter 6, pp. 3-90

Optional (If you desire background on Zaire’s history or on the Rwandan Genocide): Martin Meredith (2005), The Fate of Africa: A History of 50 Years of Independence (New York: PublicAffairs), Chapters 6, 17 and 27, pp. 93-115, 293-308, 485-523

  •  Wednesday, May 16: The Congo Wars (II)

Jason Stearns (2011), Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa (New York: PublicAffairs), Chapters 7-12, pp. 93-178

Stathis Kalyvas (2003), “The Ontology of “Political Violence”: Action and Identity in Civil Wars,Perspectives on Politics, 1:3, pp. 475-94

  • Monday, May 21: The Congo Wars (III)

Jason Stearns (2011), Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa (New York: PublicAffairs), Chapters 13-Conclusion, pp. 181-337

Severine Autessere (2009), “Dangerous Tales: Dominant Narratives on the Congo and Their Unintended Consequences,” African Affairs, 0:0, pp. 1-21

COURSE MODULE 5: POLITICAL CHANGE IN AFRICA – NEW DIRECTIONS

  • Wednesday, May 23: The Third Wave and its (Dis)contents

Michael Bratton and Nicolas Van De Walle (1998), Democratic Experiments in Africa (Cambridge University Press), Chapter 3, “Africa’s Divergent Transitions, 1990-1994,” pp. 97-127

Henry Bienen and Jeffery Herbst (1996), “The Relationship Between Political and Economic Reform in Africa,” Comparative Politics, 29:1, pp. 23-42

  • Wednesday, May 30: Africa’s Optimistic Future?

Peter Lewis (2008), “Growth Without Prosperity in Africa,” Journal of Democracy, 19:4, pp. 95-104

Goldman Sachs (2012) “Africa’s Turn,”  Equity Research: Fortnightly Thoughts (read pp. 1-5, 12-13, 23)

John Campbell and Asch Harwood (2011), Democracy’s Growth in Africa: Slow, Violent, and Worth Celebrating, The Atlantic Monthly