POLS-Y338: African Politics - Black Lives Matter

POLS-Y338 — Spring 2021

Lauren M. MacLean
UB 151
Days and Times
M 3:15-4:30 p.m.
Course Description

The countries of sub-Saharan Africa are important in our global culture, economy, and history. Yet, many misconceptions prevail among journalists, policymakers, and ordinary people here in the United States and elsewhere. In this course, we examine knowledge production about Africa in order to address some of these misconceptions. In order to understand the development of political systems on the continent, we will examine the relevance of precolonial and “traditional” political systems; colonialism and colonial legacies; post- independence nation-building; authoritarian regimes and conflict; and democratization. We will also focus on persistent themes such as the role of ethnicity and gender in contemporary politics; the politics of foreign aid and poverty reduction; and the challenges of public health, migration, and climate change. Finally, we will use the lens of politics to engage with contemporary African literature and film.