Africa is a continent of 54 countries and over a billion people. However, despite the rich diversity of the African experience, it is striking that continuations and themes seem to be reflected across the continent, particularly south of the Sahara. Questions of underdevelopment, outside exploitation, and misrule are characteristic of many--if not most-states in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In this Very Short Introduction Ian Taylor explores how politics is practiced on the African continent, considering the nature of the state in Sub-Saharan Africa and why its state structures are generally weaker than elsewhere in the world. Exploring the historical and contemporary factors which account for Africa's underdevelopment, he also analyses why some African countries suffer from high levels of political violence while others are spared. Unveiling the ways in which African state and society actually function beyond the formal institutional facade, Taylor discusses how external factors--both inherited and contemporary--act upon the continent.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
This book masterfully presents compelling arguments in narratives sensitive to history, time, and space. It effectively integrates complicated storylines with serious concerns about democracy, governance, institutions, and leadership, while assertively foregrounding the end goal of politics: people, peace, and prosperity. * Toyin Falola, Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities *
1: Introduction to Africa and its politics
2: Pre-colonial political systems and colonialism
3: The transfer of power and the colonial legacy
4: The primacy of paronage politics
5: Women in African politics
6: The role of identity in politics
7: The military and politics
8: Democracy and political reform
9: Africa's international relations