The West African states have reached maturity. This new volume--appearing a decade after the successful West African States: Failure and Promise--provides up-to-date studies of nine states, including Chad, Burkina Faso and Cameroon, which were neglected in the earlier volume, and introduces contemporary theories of West African politics. The book reflects changes on the ground and also in academic debate, notably the remarkable retreat of dependency theory and Marxian analysis and the rise of free-market theorizing by both governments and scholars. The volume also contains important observations on the political importance of religious fundamentalism in the region, and the growth of subnational forms of political activity. The writers are well-known scholars in the field, and include contributors to the influential journal Politique Africaine. This will be a useful textbook for everyone interested in African politics, but it is also a provocative contribution to the debate on the nature of the state and political processes in Africa.
"...an excellent survey of contemporary West Africa." Foreign Affairs "In sum, this superb volume is indispensable reading. Its nine cases are uniformly as excellent in their interpretations as they are authoritative in their information. The simultaneous publication of a paperback will make this book accesible for course adoption; inspection of its content will make it a compelling choice." African Studies Review