IR 211 Political Economy of Africa
Spring 2012 — TR 15:25-16:40
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?