African Politics (4-vol. set)  book cover
1st Edition

African Politics (4-vol. set)

Edited By

Nic Cheeseman

ISBN 9781138901650
Published May 27, 2016 by Routledge
1824 Pages 54 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Scholars and students of African politics address some of the thorniest issues of our time. Indeed, over the last thirty years or so, the subdiscipline has expanded in scope and ambition, and leads the way in major fields of research, such as the study of ethnicity and identity politics.

Now, this timely new collection from Routledge, edited by Nic Cheeseman (the former Director of the African Studies Centre at Oxford University), brings together the classic and essential texts of African politics, creating a top-quality and easily accessible resource for students, researchers, and policymakers alike. The four volumes that make up the collection are structured around the biggest questions that have dominated African Studies:

  • What was the legacy of colonial rule, and has Africa broken free of its international dependency?
  • How are ethnic identities formed, and what impact have they had?
  • Why is Africa so poor? What are the main barriers to development?
  • Is democracy feasible in Africa, and, if so, how can it be designed to promote political stability?

Each volume is introduced by a comprehensive summary chapter, newly written by the editor, which both provides a valuable overview of the key trends in the literature and explains what we know, what we don’t know, and what controversies remain.


'This valuable, four-volume reference work brings together 70 scholarly articles, almost all published since 2000. They come from English-language sources only. Volume 1, devoted to Africa and the world, contains six sections: colonial rule and its legacy; sovereignty, dependency and extraversion; aid and the governance agenda; the African Diaspora and rise of remittances; Pan-Africanism, the African Union, and regional integration; and the rise of China and a multipolar world. Volume 2 shifts the focus to the African state, including the postcolonial state and its limitations; traditional leaders, "hybrid institutions," and ungoverned spaces; neo-patrimonialism, clandestine economies, and corruption; developmental patrimonialism and developmental states; and taxation and the social contract. Volume 3 tackles identity politics, conflict, and accommodation. Parts include class and inequality; the politics of religion; ethnicity, citizenship and development; identity, land, and conflict; civil war and ethnic violence; and peacebuilding, power sharing, and interethnic accommodation. The fourth volume centers on authoritarianism and the struggle for democracy: contemporary authoritarianism; political parties and party systems; clientelism and political mobilization; the power of elections; horizontal accountability and political institutionalization; and civil society, gender, and political representation. Cheeseman introduces each volume, whose parts contain two to four well-chosen articles. Summing Up: Essential' C. E. Welch, University at Buffalo, SUNY, CHOICE Magazine January 2017 Vol. 54 No. 5