An Introduction to African Politics

Front Cover
Psychology Press, 2000 - History - 277 pages
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An Introduction to African Politics is the ideal textbook for those new to the study of this vast and fascinating continent. It makes sense of the diverse political systems that are a feature of Africa by using familiar concepts, chapter by chapter, to examine the continent as a whole. The result is a textbook that identifies the essential features of African politics, allowing students to grasp the recurring political patterns that have dominated this part of the world since independence.

Features and benefits of the book include:

* thematically organised, with individual chapters exploring issues such as colonialism, ethnicity, nationalism, social class, ideology, legitimacy, sovereignty, and democracy
* identifies the key recurrent theme of competitive relationships between the African state, its civil society, and external interests
* contains useful boxed case studies of key countries at the end of each chapter, including: Kenya; Tanzania; Nigeria; Botswana; Ivory Coast; Uganda; Somalia; Ghana; Zaire; and Algeria
* each chapter concludes with key terms and definitions as well as questions, advice on further reading, and useful notes and references
* clearly and accessibly written by an experienced teacher of the subject.
 

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Contents

Introduction state civil society and external interests
1
History Africas precolonial and colonial inheritance
7
The colonial inheritance
9
State and civil society
20
Kenyas historical inheritance
21
Ideology nationalism socialism populism and state capitalism
30
Decolonisation in Africa
31
Nationalism
33
Problems facing military rulers
129
The outcomes of military rule in Africa
131
State and civil society
133
Sovereignty External influences on African politics
141
InterAfrican international relations
142
Superpowers the Cold War and Africa
143
The impact of the Cold War on African politics
149
Africa and the New World Order
150

African nationalism
34
The differing ideological shades of African nationalism
36
State and civil society
44
socialism and ujamaa in Tanzania
48
Ethnicity Ethnic groups tribes and political identity
57
Definitions of ethnicity
58
Ethnicity as a method of modern political mobilisation
62
State and civil society
64
ethnicity and the nationstate in Nigeria
65
Social class The search for class politics in Africa
74
The problems of exporting Marx to Africa
76
The African mode of production
77
A more flexible look at social class in Africa
79
The value of class analysis in explaining African politics
89
State and civil society
91
social class in Botswana
92
Legitimacy Neopatrimonialism personal rule and the centralisation of the African state
99
Centralisation of the African state
100
Personal rule
107
The search for legitimacy
110
Clientelism
111
State and civil society
112
personal rule in Cote dlvoire
114
Coercion Military intervention in African politics
121
African military coups detat
122
Why has Africa experienced so many military coups?
126
State civil society and external interests
154
Somalias international relations
156
Sovereignty again Neocolonialism structural adjustment and Africas political economy
165
Burdens of the international economy
168
The African debt crisis
171
The era of structural adjustment
173
The economic social and political ramifications of structural adjustment
175
State civil society and external interests
179
Ghanas structural adjustment
181
Authority The crises of accumulation governance and state collapse
189
The growing crisis of state legitimacy
190
The loss of state authority
195
The states own survival strategies
200
State and civil society
203
Zaire Mobutus vampire state
205
Democracy Relegitimising the African state?
215
Democracy
216
Explaining the emergence of multiparty democracy
218
The obstacles to democratic consolidation
222
State and civil society
231
the search for democracy in Algeria
232
Conclusions State and civil society in post colonial Africa
242
Multiparty legislative and presidential elections in Africa independence to 1999
247
Notes
255
Index
268
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About the author (2000)

Alex Thomson is a lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire.

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