Fall 2018

Introduction to Contemporary African Politics

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-233

Moodle site: Course


Chipo Dendere (Section 01)


The African continent is the fastest growing continent in the world and is witnessing many societal changes, from technological advancement to the role of social media in elections. This course will explore questions such as (1) Why are state institutions weaker in African than in other developing regions? (2) What explains Africa's slow economic growth? (3) What can be done to improve political accountability on the continent? (4) Why have some African countries been plagued by high levels of political violence while others have not?

To answer these questions, we will examine Africa’s historical experiences, its economic heritage, and the international context in which it is embedded. At the same time, we will explore how Africans have shaped their own political and economic situations. As we address the core themes of the course, we will draw on a wide range of academic disciplines, including political science, history, economics, literary studies and anthropology. We will study events in several African countries and examine broad patterns across countries.

Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Professor Dendere.

If Overenrolled: Priority given to senior majors, then to a balance of sophomores and juniors, randomly determined, followed by first-year students.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing, Writing Intensive


2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017, Fall 2018