POL 355

Dr. John J. Quinn
Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa
POL 355
Office: McClain 206D x4578

Required Readings                Paper Assignments

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, democracy, elections, and political economy.

The readings for each week are outlined in the syllabus.

Required books:

Quinn, John James. Global Geopolitical Power and African Political and Economic
When Elephants Fight. Lanham MD: Lexington Books, 2016.

Rapley, John. Understanding Development: Theory and Practice in the Third World,
Edition. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publications, 2007.

Schraeder, Peter. African Politics and Society: A Mosaic in Transformation 2nd Edition.
Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004.


Recommended books: (placed on reserve in the Library and will be used for class (though feel free to buy any of them as well).

Nnadozie, Emmanuel. African Economic Development New York: Academic Press, 2003.

Other readings will be posted on blackboard.


Paper Assignments                                                                                                           

There will be two papers and two essay exams (mid-term and final).  The papers will require students to take the ideas of each part of class and show how the general trends described in class fit, or do not fit, for the particular country studied.  Each student will choose a unique country and then apply the ideas of each part of that class to their country.  So the first paper will examine the colonial, decolonial, and early independence experiences (both economic and political) of that nation.  The second paper will describe the cold war legacies of the country and how the late Cold War and post-Cold War international trends impacted that country (both economically and politically).