Ethnic Politics and State Power in Africa

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Dec 15, 2016 - Political Science - 389 pages
Why are some African countries trapped in vicious cycles of ethnic exclusion and civil war, while others experience relative peace? In this groundbreaking book, Philip Roessler addresses this question. Roessler models Africa's weak, ethnically-divided states as confronting rulers with a coup-civil war trap - sharing power with ethnic rivals is necessary to underwrite societal peace and prevent civil war, but increases rivals' capabilities to seize sovereign power in a coup d'état. How rulers respond to this strategic trade-off is shown to be a function of their country's ethnic geography and the distribution of threat capabilities it produces. Moving between in-depth case studies of Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo based on years of field work and statistical analyses of powersharing, coups and civil war across sub-Saharan Africa, the book serves as an exemplar of the benefits of mixed methods research for theory-building and testing in comparative politics.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

1
4
A Mesolevel Approach to the Study of Civil War
33
x
36
viii
46
Theories of Ethnopolitical Exclusion
60
The Strategic Logic of War in Africa
82
Political Networks Brokerage and Cooperative
103
19982000
148
1
278
Conclusion 291 291
291
1
299
2
306
A Note on the Books Qualitative Methods
317
Data on Ethnic Transfers of Power and Ethnicity
325
References
360
148
375

The Outbreak of
178
Testing the Argument 205 8 Empirical Analysis of the CoupCivil War Trap
207
1
246
58
258
The Strategic Logic of Peace in Africa
269

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2016)

Philip Roessler is an Assistant Professor of Government and Director of the Center for African Development at the College of William and Mary, Virginia. He is an expert on conflict, state building, and development in sub-Saharan Africa with extensive field experience across the region. His book builds on his 2011 World Politics article, 'The Enemy Within', which won the Gregory Luebbert Award from the American Political Science Association for the best article in comparative politics. He is also author of Why Comrades Go to War: Liberation Politics and the Outbreak of Africa's Deadliest Conflict (with Harry Verhoeven, forthcoming).

Bibliographic information