In this blog, Andrea Scheibler tells us about the new Routledge Handbook of African Politics, that she has edited with our Co-editor Dr Nic Cheeseman and Prof David Anderson. Andrea is a DPhil candidate in African History at the University of Oxford, and a member of St Hugh’s College.
The Routledge Handbook of African Politics, published last month, is the product of a collaboration between 35 established and emerging Africanist academics. Three years in the making, the Handbook is arguably the most comprehensive overview of African politics currently available on the market and we hope it will become a standard reference book for students seeking to understand the development of, and transitions within, contemporary Africa.
As can be seen from the chapter list below, leading experts provide the definitive take on the topics they know best, drawing on a number of high-profile cases such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe. The Handbook also contains new contributions on a wide range of topical issues, including terrorism, the growing influence of China, civil war, power-sharing, and transitional justice.
The first section deals with the strength and capacity of the modern state, drawing on a multitude of themes such as neopatrimonialism, nationalism, security, the law, and corruption. This leads into our second section, which examines the citizenry and the ways in which they engage with the state and other key institutions. African states and politics of identity are more complex than many predominant narratives allow, and we have been sure to include other salient markers of political identities, such as class, religion, and gender, alongside the much-discussed markers of ethnicity and autochthony.
Our third section covers conflict, a topic often traced back to the combination of weak states, predatory leaders, and intense competition over scarce resources. However, these chapters deal not just with what causes conflict, but also how states have emerged out of it through power-sharing, peacebuilding, and the imposition of transitional justice; as well as covering topical issues such as oil politics on the continent.
The fourth section deals with the ‘mixed bag’ of democratization through a range of chapters on the resilience of electoral authoritarianism, the power of elections to effect change, the rise of African legislatures, the evolution of political parties, and the growing place of public opinion in democratic consolidation. These topics feed into our fifth section on the political economy, dealt with through an examination of both formal and informal institutions and strategies of development. These chapters document restrictions on aid and trade, assess patterns of exchange and economic management, and examine the historic role of civil society and public services. Together they provide an overview of the patchy progress towards political liberalization and the economic constraints on African governments.
Our final section gives attention to Africa’s international role and relations – a theme that is comparatively lacking in the literature on contemporary Africa. Topical issues such as terrorism and the rise of China are taken together with the broader interactions of the global economy and pan-regional institutions to provide a clear take on the increasing institutionalization of African politics, demonstrating the developing strength of African countries on the global stage.
Although it is focused on politics, the Handbook is broadly interdisciplinary in scope, as evidenced by the diversity of sources, methods, and range of topics covered. This gives the text a broader regional and international dimension, making it relevant for students and policy makers interested not just in Africa, but also in international relations, development, democratization and conflict resolution more generally, as well as for students of anthropology and modern history.
Further information about the Handbook can be found on the Routledge website. To receive a 20% discount, please take a look at this flyer and follow the instructions there (please note this discount only applies to purchases made directly from the publisher and does not apply to sites such as Amazon).
|An Introduction to African PoliticsDavid M. Anderson and Nic Cheeseman Section 1: The Politics of the State|
|1||Nationalism, One-Party States, and Military RuleNic Cheeseman|
|2||Federalism and DecentralizationRotimi T. Suberu|
|3||The Rule of Law and the CourtsPeter VonDoepp|
|4||Security and the Privatization of Force and ViolenceRita Abrahamsen|
|5||Neopatrimonialism and Political RegimesGero Erdmann|
|6||The Informal Practices of Civil ServantsJean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan|
|Section 2: The Politics of Identity|
|7||Class PoliticsBill Freund|
|8||The Politics of EthnicityGabrielle Lynch|
|9||Autochthony and the Politics of BelongingPeter Geschiere|
|10||Religion and PoliticsStephen Ellis and Gerrie ter Haar|
|11||Muslim Politics in West AfricaLeonardo A. Villalón|
|12||Women in PoliticsAmina Mama|
|Section 3: The Politics of Conflict|
|13||Civil WarPhilip Roessler|
|14||Oil PoliticsRicardo Soares de Oliveira|
|16||Post-Conflict PeacebuildingDevon Curtis|
|17||Transitional Justice after AtrocityPhil Clark|
|Section 4: Democracy & Electoral Politics|
|18||Electoral Authoritarianism and Multi-Party PoliticsNicolas van de Walle|
|19||The Power of ElectionsStaffan I. Lindberg|
|20||Emerging LegislaturesJoel D. Barkan|
|21||Political PartiesMatthijs Bogaards|
|22||Public Opinion and Democratic ConsolidationMichael Bratton|
|Section 5: Political Economy & Development|
|23||Aid, Trade, Investment, and DependencyMartin Williams|
|24||Social PolicyJeremy Seekings|
|26||The Economy of AffectionGöran Hydén|
|27||The Politics of DevelopmentTim Kelsall|
|Section 6: International Relations|
|28||Africa and the Global EconomyRichard E. Mshomba|
|29||Pan-Africanism and Regional IntegrationGilbert M. Khadiagala|
|30||Terrorism, Security, and the StateKen Menkhaus|
|31||Democracy PromotionStephen Brown|
|32||China and AfricaChris Alden|