Schedule – F 2011

 

This is the schedule of readings and assignments for Fall 2011.
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September 2011
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 1
October 2011
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 10 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29

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November 2011
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30
December 2011
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

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General Directions

1. This course will use the following books, available for purchase in the student bookstore:

  • Gordon = Gordon, April A. and Donald L. Gordon (eds.), 2007 Fourth Edition. Understanding Contemporary Africa.
  • M Wrong, I Didn’t Do It For You

2. All other texts are available via hyperlink. Please note that many, if not all, are only available to students via login.

3. This is a reading-intensive course. All readings should be read in the order presented. That is also their order of priority.

4. This schedule is subject to change.

5. Please upload all assignments, except blog posts, to Filestork. (Please name files using your own name or your group’s name or the upload process may not work.)

I recommend you keep up with African news and scholarship. Some great sources include:  The Economist, BBC News Online, The Financial Times, Reuters (has a great Africa website)

Academic: Journal of Modern African Studies

Think Tanks: Center for Global Development Working Papers

Blogs:

September

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Class 1

Introduction to Africa, Locating Africa in World Politics.

Is Africa different from the rest of the world? What are some of the challenges Africa poses to international relations scholars?

Course Activities: Introductions

Readings:

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Class 2

Africa’ Pre-Colonial International Relations.

Were there international relations between African polities prior to the colonial period? With the rest of the world?

Course Activities: (1) Sign-up for blog responsibilities; (2) Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Recommended:

Methods Reading:

  • User’s Guide to Political Science. “Statistics.” The section on reading regression results may be helpful in interpreting the Gennaioli and Englebert readings.

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Class 3

Africa’s Colonial Period

Does Africa’s colonial heritage shape its international relations today? What was the nature of the colonial period? How did African colonies relate to each other and the rest of the world? How did their relationships with colonial masters affect their foreign policies after independence?

Next Project Assignment: You will prepare a one-page description of your proposed research question. The question should be substantively interesting and relevant. Moreover, it should be a question that can be answered using evidence, given the time and resource constraints of the course. You should be prepared to discuss your question during the class session. See the “Project” page for more detailed instructions.

Course Activities: (1) Assignment above; (2) Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Recommended:

Methods Reading:

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Class 4

Eritrea and the colonial period; African Independence

What is the significance of African interdependence for its international relations? For the international community more generally?

* Journal 1. Compare the impacts of pre-colonial and colonial legacies for your country’s politics and foreign relations with those of Eritrea. Remember that you can react as well to the readings relevant to this topic and use other countries’ experiences as a point of comparison.

Course Activities:Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

  • Wrong. Read Foreword and Chapters 1 – 12.

Recommended:

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Class 5

Finishing the path to Eritrean Independence

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion.

Readings:

  • FINISH reading Wrong’s I Didn’t Do It For You.

Recommended:

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Class 6

Neo-patrimonialism & the African State

DUE TODAY: Research description

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion.
Readings:

Recommended:

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Class 7

Catch-up!

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Class 8

The African State System & African Foreign Policy-Making

How do African States develop their foreign policies? What are some of the factors that African states take into account in their foreign policy decision-making?

* Journal 2. Describe the current political institutions and political culture of your country. Is there evidence of neo-patrimonialism? How might the political institutions and political culture affect your country’s foreign policy and international relations? Remember that you can react as well to the readings relevant to this topic and use other countries’ experiences as a point of comparison

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Read ONE of the following:

Recommended:

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October

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Class 9

African International Relations: The case of South Africa

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Recommended:

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Class 10

The United States and Africa

* Journal 3. Discuss United States relations with your country.

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Recommended:

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Class 11

Africa in Global Governance

Next Assignment: You will prepare a 3 – 5 page narrative description of the evidence you have gathered. This should include a clear specification of the dependent variable you wish to explain. It should highlight what is puzzling about the evidence you observe and what data supports your claim. A strong narrative description will conclude with some thoughts about the factors that might explain the patterns you have found. See the “Project” page for more detailed instructions.

Course Activities: (1) Assignment above; (2) Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Recommended:

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Class 12

Africa in the Global Economy

Is Africa peripheral to the global economy? What does that mean? Why is most of Africa poor?

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

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Class 13 (October 18)

Foreign Aid

Is foreign aid a good thing for Africa?

Readings:

Recommended:

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Class 14

Resource Politics

* Journal 4. What are the current economic conditions in your country? What goods and services does it specialize in? What economic activities employ people in your country? Relate your country’s experiences with economic development to our readings on foreign aid. Remember that you can react as well to the readings relevant to this topic and use other countries’ experiences as a point of comparison.

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Recommended:

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Fall Break – No Class

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Class 15

Catch-up

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

 

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November

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Class 16

Conflicts and Conflict Management (I): DRC

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion.

Readings:

Recommended:

 

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Class 17

 

 

 

 

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November 7 (Monday) @ Noon

 

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Class 18, November 8

DUE TODAY: Group Draft Outline

Conflicts and Conflict Management: Congo & Darfur

Readings:

Recommended:

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Class 19, November 10

Europe and Africa

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Recommended:

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Class 20, November 15

China, the Global South, and Africa

WRITE EITHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING JOURNAL ENTRIES:

* Journal 5. Discuss and analyze any violent conflicts involving your country (civil or interstate). Consider also the roles played by regional and international actors. Remember that you can react as well to the readings relevant to this topic and use other countries’ experiences as a point of comparison.

* Journal 6. Which foreign countries matter most to your country? How and why? Compare your country’s foreign relations with at least three countries, including China. Remember that you can react as well to the readings relevant to this topic and use other countries’ experiences as a point of comparison.

Readings:

Recommended

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Class 21, November 17

Writing

DUE TODAY: Rough Draft. Email copy to professor prior to class and bring 1 copy to class for peer editing..

To be determined… While the Professor is away, do the students… ?

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Class 22, November 22

The Environment: Water

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Recommended:

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Class 23, November 29

Due Today: Group Rough Draft

Class Research Presentations

Instructions for Panel Presentations.  Presentations should last 25 minutes. There will then be 15 minutes of time for Q&A. Presentations should stress the overarching themes you all find in your work. The point is to view this as a workshop and an opportunity to get feedback from your colleagues. You should then be able to incorporate some of that feedback into the final drafts.

Course Activities: Presentations

“Foreign Intervention and Child Soldiers”

“Africa & the West”
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December

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Class 24, December 1

Class Research Presentations

Course Activities: Presentations

“Africa Security”

“Africa & the Rest”
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Class 25, December 6

Class Research Presentations

Course Activities: Presentations

“International Influences on Africa”
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Class 26, December 8

LAST DAY OF CLASS → Future Directions for Africa

* Journal 7. Based on what you have discovered this term, how would you advise your country’s leaders in their engagement with the world?

Part 1: Finish presentations, if necessary.
Part 2: What have we learned? What are some of the likely future scenarios for political relationships within Africa and between Africa and the rest of the world?

Readings:

  • Gordon. Chapter 13, “Trends and Prospects”
  • Hyden, Goran. 2006. “Chapter 12: Quo Vadis Africa” in African Politics in Comparative Perspective (New York: Cambridge University Press).

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end of classes
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no final exam
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Thursday, December 15 at 5 pm.

final research projects due

email entire group project to professor as a single file.
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Friday, December 16 at 5 pm.

individual assessment of group project due email to professor.