£60.00 | $107.95
9 June 2011
216mm x 138mm
Africa, Development, Economics, International Relations, Politics
Politics in Africa
A New Introduction
Nana K. Poku and Anna Mdee
Democracy, prosperity and self-rule, this was the vision of African independence. Across the continent, however, the 'optimism' that characterized the immediate post-independence period has largely faded. Meanwhile, ordinary Africans lurch between undemocratic, unaccountable and unresponsive governments and a decaying traditional African past.
How did things go so wrong? Why has the continent lagged behind others in economic development despite its potential natural resources? Why are so many African states prone to conflict? And why has democracy been slow to take root in a majority of the countries? Covering everything from African economies to the role of the state, rural livelihoods to issues of gender, 'Politics in Africa' offers a fresh perspective in answering these questions, making the continent's problems more understandable, less wretched and even intensely hopeful.
Up-to-date, concise and provocative, this is indispensable reading for anyone interested in African politics.
'A lucid introduction to the political dilemmas facing contemporary Africa.' - Professor Patrick Chabal, King's College London
'There is a surprising amount packed into the pages of this short book. Weighing colonial legacies in the scale against post-colonial exigencies, the authors manage to serve up an account that is fresh, provocative and eminently readable. It provides an excellent starting point for anyone in search of a better understanding of contemporary Africa.' - Professor Paul Nugent, University of Edinburgh
'A superb introduction to some of the most critical political challenges facing Africa today. It offers a clear and coherent discussion of the complexities of, and linkages between, Africa's past and present. An excellent addition to our understanding of African society.' - Pascoal Mocumbi, former Prime Minister of Mozambique
'I highly recommend this book as an insightful and well referenced commentary on key issues in our modern African society, and its colonial and post-Independence history. It will be of great value to Africans and non-Africans alike, with an interest in how politics shapes our lives.' - Kenneth Kaunda, former President of Zambia
'Deserves a prominent place on reading lists in politics, development studies, modern history and interdisciplinary African studies, where it will provide a lucid and challenging introduction to some central debates.' - Justin Pearce, International Affairs Journal
Table of Contents
1. Colonialism, Racism and African Resistance
2. Instabilities, Adjustment and Renewal
3. Food Insecure and Vulnerable: The Politics of African Rural Livelihoods
4. Big Men & Little Women - The Politics of Gender in Africa
5. More than HIV/AIDS: the politics of health in Africa
Conclusion: An African Renaissance
About the Authors:
Nana K. Poku is the John Ferguson Professor of African Studies at the University of Bradford. He joined the University’s Peace Studies Department in 2006 from the United Nations where he held the posts of Senior Policy Advisor to the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and also Director of Research for the United Nation’s Secretary General’s Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa (UN-CHGA). He currently serves as a Special Advisor to the Government of Ghana on PRSP and Health issues and has led 14 appraisal mission in 11 countries in Africa. He has also been an advisor to the European Union, the World Bank, the OECD, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations Development Program, among other international agencies.
Anna Mdee is Deputy Director of the John & Elnora Ferguson Centre for Africa Studies (JEFCAS) and also Associate Dean (Teaching & Learning) in the School of Social & International Studies at the University of Bradford. Her research has focussed on aid policy, civil society and community-driven development in East & Southern Africa. She is currently working on developing strategic partnerships with African Universities to build long-term initiatives for strengthening development research and teaching.
- Assata Shakur, who published her autobiography with Zed Books in 1988, is the first woman to appear on the FBI's Most Wanted list
- Peter Watt (co-author of 'Drug War Mexico') talks to the Real News Network about the organized crime problems facing Mexico
- Politics in the Congo: Theodore Trefon (Congo Masquerade) speaks as part of the Cultural Knowledge Consortium Speaker Series
- John Young responds to Alex de Waal's review of his book 'The Fate of Sudan: The Origins and Consequences of a Flawed Peace Process'
- Democracy in the Americas after Chavez: Book launch of 'Cuba and its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion' with author Arnold August