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Introduction to African Politics

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Introduction to African Politics



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An Introduction to African Politics by Alex Thomson
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The third edition of An Introduction to African Politics continues to be the ideal textbook for those new to the study of this fascinating continent. It gets to the heart of the politics of this part of the world, tackling questions such as: How is modern Africa still influenced by its colonial past? How do strong ethnic identities on the continent affect government? Why has the military been so influential? Why do African states have such difficulty managing their economies? How does African democracy differ from democracy in the West? 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 continent since independence. Features and benefits of the third edition: Thematically organised, with individual chapters exploring issues such as colonialism, ethnicity, nationalism, religion, social class, ideology, legitimacy, authority, sovereignty and democracy. Identifies key recurrent themes such as the competitive relationships between the African state, its civil society and external interests. Contains useful boxed case studies at the end of each chapter, including: Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire, Uganda, Somalia, Ghana, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe. Each chapter concludes with key terms and definitions, as well as questions and advice on further reading. Illustrated throughout with images of important political figures, and key moments in African history. Important terms and concepts are explained in a clear and accessible manner and supported by contemporary examples. This expanded, fully revised and updated edition remains the ideal gateway for students seeking to make sense of the dynamic and diverse political systems that are a feature of this fascinating part of the world.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: State, Civil Society and External Interests 2. History: Africa's Pre-Colonial and Colonial Inheritance 3. Ideology: Nationalism, Socialism, Populism and State Capitalism 4. Ethnicity and Religion: 'Tribes', Gods and Political Identity 5. Social Class: The Search for Class Politics in Africa 6. Legitimacy: Neo-Patrimonialism, Personal Rule and the Centralisation of the African State 7. Coercion: Military Intervention in African politics 8. Sovereignty I: External Influences on African politics 9. Sovereignty II: Neo-Colonialism, Structural Adjustment and Africa's Political Economy 10. Authority: The Crises of Accumulation, Governance and State Collapse 11. Democracy: Re-Legitimising the African State? 12. Conclusions: State and Civil Society in Post-Colonial Africa

Author Biography

Alex Thomson is a Principal Lecturer in Politics at Coventry University. His books include Constructive Engagement: US Foreign Policy Towards South Africa, 1981-- 1988 (Ashgate, 1996), Get Set for Politics (with Keith Faulks and Ken Phillips, Edinburgh University Press, 2003), and U.S. Foreign Policy Towards Apartheid South Africa, 1948-1994: Conflict of Interests (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008).
Release date Australia
May 17th, 2010
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
3rd Revised edition
16 black & white illustrations, 18 black & white tables, 13 black & white halftones, 3 black & white line drawings
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