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African Politics

Course Number: POL 305
Credits: 4
Offered: Every other year
Instructor: Dr. Beard
Overview:

This class provides students with the conceptual framework necessary to understand the complexity, variety, and fludity of contemporary politics in Africa. While not glossing over the depth and recurrence of crises in Africa, this course seeks to uncover our commonly-held assumptions and go beyond simple stereotypes. We will situate current political realities in Africa, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), among the historical factors internal and external to Africa that have shaped the continent's current and future political possibilities. We will also keep an eye on current events, situating Africa in a global context, and therefore, not only will we learn about Africa, but we will investigate how Africa can test and refine broader theories about governance, democracy, state-building, political economy, etc. Thus, this class examines comparative political science through the specific focus on Africa as part of the larger global political arena.