IR 211 Political Economy of Africa

Political Science Field: Associated Courses
International Relations Track: Political Economy and Development (B), Governance of Nations (C)
Typically offered rarely

Subhasish Ray
Spring 2012 — TR 15:25-16:40

Course Syllabus

Political developments in Africa since the end of the Cold War have both vindicated and belied Robert Kaplan's famous prediction of a "coming anarchy" in the region. Drawing on the rich social science literature on the politics of contemporary Africa, the course will address a set of critical questions that will have important implications for the well-being of the people of the continent and the world in the twenty-first century. The central questions we will address are: Why is state failure so frequent in Africa? Why are most African countries poor? Why has Botswana, a small country in Southern Africa, been able to sustain economic growth and democratic politics since its independence? Can international aid resurrect growth and democracy on a wide scale in Africa?

Subhasish Ray
Spring 2011 — MW 12:30-13:45

Course Syllabus

Political and economic developments in Africa since the end of the Cold War have both vindicated and belied Robert Kaplan's famous prediction of a "coming anarchy" in the region. Drawing on the rich social science literature on the political economy of contemporary Africa, the course will address a set of critical questions that will have important implications for the well being of the people of the continent and the world in the twenty-first century. The central questions we will address are: Why is most of Africa poor? Why do states fail so often in Africa? Why is there wide variation in the responsiveness of African countries to AIDS prevention? Why has Botswana, a small country in Southern Africa, been able to sustain economic growth and democratic politics since its independence? Can international aid resurrect growth and democracy on a wide scale in Africa?