Dr. John J. Quinn
The Politics of sub-Saharan Africa
Political Science 355
Office: McClain 111A x4578
This course examines the basics of the major economic and political trends of sub-Saharan Africa from the colonial period until the present. The leading topics and issues include these: colonization, decolonization, political regimes, economic resources, economic ideologies and policies, structural adjustment, regional trade, civil unrests, democracy, and democratization. The goal of this course is to provide students with a firm grounding in the past and present issues of sub-Saharan Africa, its most significant economic and political trends, a good understanding of at least one of the region's countries, and a general understanding of the core concepts of development and political economy.
The mid-term and final examinations are in class and will include an essay or essays and short identifications of key concepts from lecture and readings. The mid-term and final exams will each account for 35% of the grade (35% x 2 = 70%). Students are also responsible for turning in two brief papers. The first one is due on Wednesday of the fifth week (20 September), and the second one is due on Monday, 20 November 1996. (See the "paper assignment' at the end of the syllabus.) The papers account for the remaining 30% of the grade. The first is worth 10% and the second 20%. Attendance will be taken in every class and will be used in consideration for borderline grades.
— At Patty's University Book Store or Truman State University Bookstore:
Bates, Robert H. Markets and States in Tropical Africa: The Political Basis of Agricultural
Policies Los Angeles and Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981.
Reno, William. Warlord Politics and African States Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, <1999.
Rapley, John. Understanding Development: Theory and Practice in the Third World Boulder, CO:
Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1996
Schraeder, Peter. African Politics and Society: A Mosaic in Transformation. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s,
Two other books will be placed on reserve in the Library and will be used for class (though feel free to buy them).
Nnadozie, Emmanuel. African Economic Development New York: Academic Press, 2003.
Quinn, John James. The Road oft Traveled: Development Policies and Majority State Ownership
of Industry in Africa Westport, CT: 2002.
Other readings will be posted on my door. They are to be photocopied and returned. Most will also be placed on reserve in the library.
Each student is required to submit two brief papers. Each should be of not more that twelve pages (6-12 pages). The first is intended to be a brief overview of the political legacy of one Sub-Saharan African country. This paper must outline the conditions of decolonization, the early leaders and parties, and the role of the military. Students should also include a brief description of the country's chief economic assets. This should show that the student understands the regional trends as reflected within one country or sub-region.
The second paper is intended to examine a central aspect of the political economy of a country in sub-Saharan Africa. This second paper is not intended to be an overview of the country (like the first paper); rather it should examine how ideas, economics, and politics interrelated within a country or small groups of countries. Thus, students should demonstrate an understanding of economic, political or ideological factors that shape(d) the development of the country concerned. Papers can also draw on international factors which affected the country's development. Students can also choose one important idea or topic and explore how it functioned in two or more countries. These papers are intended to be thought papers which trace out important theories within a few countries or in the region, but it should reflect both course material as well as some outside research. Therefore, papers must include bibliographies and footnotes, though they need not be extensive.
For either paper, students can feel free to stop by the office to have me look at outlines of papers for overall approaches and concepts; however, I will not read rough drafts. Late papers will be graded down a half grade for every day that they are late (beginning at the time I leave class — so don't ditch class on that day; it won't help you).
The papers require students to use a minimum of eight academic sources. Although these are thought papers as much as research papers, they should use footnotes or endnotes as well as a bibliography to make citations. As such, students should use several articles from major political science journals or scholarly books (if you are in doubt about a specific title, ask me either in class or after or look to see if there is extensive use of footnotes and bibliographies). Articles from popular magazines, such as Time or Newsweek can be listed and used as background information, or for specific matters of fact; however, they will not count toward the six sources.
If there are any questions about how to make proper citations, students should consult Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. These are available at the bookstore, as well as in the library. Earlier editions are fine. I will also accept the APSA format, but will not accept a combination of formats. We will not cover in class how to make proper citations, but students are responsible for making the citations according to this convention. Papers that use citations willy-nilly [not following a consistent format, or a poor one] will be marked down accordingly.
Each paper must be between six and twelve pages long, [not counting title page, end notes, outline, or bibliography] be double spaced (or 1.5), have a proper outline attached, and have a bibliography with at least eight academic references. [Students may use end notes, footnotes, or in-line citations. These need to be used when you do the following: quote someone else’s material directly; allude to someone else’s ideas or contributions; or cite hard to find or specific evidence (e.g., the per capita income for the US in 1994).]
Finally, papers will be marked down half a grade for every business day that they are late.