A West African nation with an extremely rich political and cultural heritage, Senegal continues to serve as a role model for Francophone Africa despite its weak economic base and small population. Senegal's status as both a Sahelian and a maritime country brought its people into early contact with Islam and the West, making the country a crossroads where traditional African, Islamic, and European cultures met and blended. Sheldon Gellar begins his exploration of Senegal by examining the influence of Islam, Western imperialism, and French colonial rule and by tracing the country's political, economic, and social evolution since independence. This expanded second edition also analyses developments since 1983, looking in particular at the state of multiparty democracy, the 1993 national elections, the deterioration of the political climate following the assassination of the vice president of the Constitutional Council, the 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc, and the return of Abdoulaye Wade to the government coalition in 1995. Despite its inability to break out of severe and chronic economic crises, Senegal has managed to solicit high levels of foreign aid and has gained a significant profile on the international scene. Gellar closes with an evaluation of the social and cultural trends that have contributed to Senegal's emergence as one of Africa's most important cultural centers.
Table of Contents
1 THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 2 GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS 3 THE ECONOMY, 4 SENEGAL AND HE WORLD 5 CULTURE AND SOCIETY 6 TOWARD THE YEAR 2000: WHITHER SENEGAL?
Sheldon Gellar is senior research associate at the Harry S. Truman Institute, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.