An Introduction to African Politics provides an ideal gateway for individuals seeking to learn more about the African continent. Using accessible terms and concepts, the book seeks to make sense of the dynamic and diverse political systems that are a feature of this fascinating part of the world. It charts the region's fall from grace after independence, the rise and fall of the one-party state and Africa's recent struggle to consolidate democracy. This expanded, fully revised and updated edition remains a key source in helping readers to grasp the events and recurring political patterns that have dominated the African continent since decolonization.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: State, Civil Society and External Interests 2. History: Africa's Pre-Colonial and Colonial Inheritance 3. Ideology: Nationalism, Socialism, Populism and State Capitalism 4. Ethnicity: Ethnic Groups, 'Tribes' and Political Identity 5. Social Class: The Search for Class Politics in Africa 6. Legitimacy: Neo-Patrimonialism, Personal Rule and the Centralisation of the African State 7. Coercion: Military Intervention in African Politics 8. Sovereignty: External Influence on African Politics 9. Sovereignty Again: Neo-Colonialism, Structural Adjustment and Africa's Political Economy 10. Authority: The Crises of Accumulation, Governance and State Collapse 11. Democracy: Re-Legitimizing the African State? 12. Conclusions: State and Civil Society in Post-Colonial Africa
Alex Thomson is a Principal Lecturer of Politics at Coventry University. His books include Constructive Engagement: US Foreign Policy Towards South Africa, 1981-1988 (Avebury, 1996) and Get Set for Politics (with Keith Faulks and Ken Phillips, Edinburgh University Press, 2003).
'The diversity of African politics is further illustrated by the inclusion of detailed case studies of individual countries, accompanied by boxed summaries of the main point in each chapter. This is a textbook which is well-presented and user friendly.'
- The Times