When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 18, 2008 - Political Science - 218 pages
4 Reviews
In the later decades of the 20th century, Africa plunged into political chaos. States failed, governments became predators, and citizens took up arms. In When Things Fell Apart, Robert H. Bates advances an explanation of state failure in Africa. In so doing, he not only plumbs the depths of the continent's late-century tragedy, but also the logic of political order and the foundations of the state. This book covers a wide range of territory by drawing on materials from Rwanda, Sudan, Liberia, and Congo. Written to be accessible to the general reader, it is nonetheless a must-read for scholars and policy makers concerned with political conflict and state failure.

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Review: When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa

User Review  - Dylan Groves - Goodreads

exceedingly clear. three takeaways: 1 - the core explanation of deteriorating public order in 1990's africa concerns the choice of political elites to protect wealth creation or predate, based on the ... Read full review

Review: When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa

User Review  - Derrill Watson - Goodreads

I'm using this in my public choice class. The first two chapters set up the main principals and the others provide some reasonably supportive evidence. That later narrative jumps around a good deal, so it's hard to know where reality diverges from his theory. Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Robert H. Bates undertook graduate studies of anthropology at Manchester University and economics at Stanford. Joining the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences at the California Institute of Technology, he rose to full professor before leaving for the Luce Professorship at Duke in the early 1980s. He joined the faculty at Harvard in 1993. Bates has conducted field work in Zambia, Kenya, Ghana and the Sudan and traveled throughout much of West Africa as well. He has also conducted fieldwork in Colombia and Brazil, where he conducted research on the politics and economics of the international coffee industry. A consultant for the World Bank and USAID, Bates is also a member of the State Failure Task Force. He serves as a resource person for the Africa Economic Research Consortium and has for several years held a visiting professorship on the faculty of the economics department at Toulouse University.

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