Schedule Spring 2010

January 2010
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
27 28 29 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
February 2010
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
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

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March 2010
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 S P R I N G
14 B R E A K 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31
April 2010
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

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May 2010
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

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General Directions

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

  • J Herbst, States and Power in Africa (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000).
  • M Wrong, I Didn’t Do It For You
  • Gordon = Gordon, April A. and Donald L. Gordon (eds.), 2007 Fourth Edition. Understanding Contemporary Africa.

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.

I recommend you keep up with African news and scholarship.  Some great sources include:

Africa specific: Africa Confidential, allAfrica.com
General news with good Africa coverage: 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:
http://developmentdrums.org/
http://chrisblattman.blogspot.com/
http://africacan.worldbank.org/
http://africaunchained.blogspot.com/

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21 January 2010. Thursday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

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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26 January 2010. Tuesday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

Outlining a Theory of Africa’s International Relations.

Course Activities: (1) Lecture; (2) Blog assignments

Readings:

  • Gordon. Skim 1 – 22. Read 23 – 49.
  • Herbst. Introduction and Chapter 1, “The Challenge of State-Building in Africa”. States and Power in Africa (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000).

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28 January 2010. Thursday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

Africa’ Pre-Colonial International Relations.

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

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. EMAIL TO PROFESSOR BY FRIDAY AT 5 PM.

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

Readings:

NEW! Recommended: We will likely have little chance to discuss these in detail, but they are examples of empirical studies of the impacts of precolonial institutions on contemporary governance and economic development in Africa.

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2 February 2010. Tuesday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

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?

* Journal: Describe the geography and demographic characteristics of your country.  What political units existed in your country prior to the colonialism?  How did they relate to each other and/or to non-Africans?  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: (1) Divide into research groups; (2) Lecture

Readings:

  • Herbst, Chapter 3 “The Europeans and the African Problem”.
  • Gordon. Pages 49 – 71.

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4 February 2010. Thursday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

Eritrea and the Colonial Period

How does Eritrea’s experiences compare with those discussed by Herbst and Young?  Are all colonial powers the same?

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

  • Wrong I Didn’t Do It For You: How the World Betrayed a Small African Nation. Read Foreword and Chapters 1 – 12.

Recommended:

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9 February 2010. Tuesday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

African Independence

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

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

  • Continue reading Wrong’s I Didn’t Do It For You
  • Herbst. Chapter 4, “The Political Kingdom in Independent Africa.”
  • McKeon, Nora. 1966. “The African States and the OAU.” International Affairs, 42 (3), pages 390 – 409.

Recommended:

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11 February 2010. Thursday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

Finishing the path to Eritrean Independence

* Journal: Discuss and analyze the political forces that led to independence for your country. How did the experience of colonialism shape your country’s 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:

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16 February 2010. Tuesday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

Neo-patrimonialism & the African State

Assignment: You will prepare a 2-3 page annotated bibliography listing sources relevant to the research you will conduct to answer your research question.  Some of these sources will be academic articles; others may be policy reports, quantitative data sets, or interviews you plan to conduct.  The bibliography is due to me before class, and you should be ready to talk about the sources you have identified and the types of information you are finding during the seminar.

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

Readings:

  • Gordon. Pages 71 – 108.
  • Hyden, Goran. 2006. “Chapter 5: Big Man Rule” in African Politics in Comparative Perspective (New York: Cambridge University Press).
  • Herbst, Chapter 4 “The Political Kingdom in Independent Africa”

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18 February 2010. Thursday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

The African State System

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Recommended:

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23 February 2010. Tuesday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

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: 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:

Recommended:

  • Adar, Korwa G. and Peter A. Schraeder. 2007. Excerpts from their edited volume, including country case studies. Globalization and Emerging Trends in African Foreign Policy: A Comparative Perspective of Eastern Africa. University Press of America.
  • Anton du Plessis. 2002. Excerpt from Chapter 6 “Analysing and evaluating foreign policy” from Power, Wealth and Global Equity edited by Patrick J. McGowan and Phlip Nel.

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25 February 2010. Thursday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

African International Relations: The case of South Africa

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Recommended:

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2 March 2010. Tuesday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

The United States and Africa

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Recommended:

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4 March 2010. Thursday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

Africa in Global Governance

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.

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

Readings:

Recommended:

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SPRING BREAK

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23 March 2010. Tuesday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

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:

Recommended:

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25 March 2010. Thursday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

Foreign Aid

Is foreign aid a good thing for Africa?

* Journal: 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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30 March 2010. Tuesday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

Resource Politics

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Recommended:

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1 April 2010. Thursday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

Conflicts and Conflict Management (I): Central Africa

* Journal:  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

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Recommended:

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6 April 2010. Tuesday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

Conflicts and Conflict Management (II):  Darfur

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion .

Readings:

Recommended:

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8 April 2010. Thursday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

Europe and Africa

Earliest you can submit a rough draft for feedback.  I will only provide full comments on ONE draft, however.

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Recommended:

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13 April 2010. Tuesday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

China and Africa


* Journal: 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.

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Read at least ONE of the following:

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15 April 2010. Thursday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

The Environment: Water

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Recommended:

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20 April 2010. Tuesday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

The AIDS Crisis

Where is the AIDS crisis a crisis in Africa?  What roles do external players play in the AIDS crisis?

Course Activities: Lecture/Discussion

Readings:

Recommended:

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22 April 2010. Thursday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

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.

Note also that group and individual rough drafts are due ONE DAY PRIOR to your panel presentation. Email these to the professor: mbnelson – at – wesleyan.edu

Course Activities: Presentations

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27 April 2010. Tuesday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

Class Research Presentations

Course Activities: Presentations

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29 April 2010. Thursday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

Class Research Presentations

Course Activities: Presentations

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4 May 2010. Tuesday. 2:40 – 4:00 pm

LAST DAY OF CLASS → Future Directions for Africa

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:

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end of classes

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no final exam

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final research projects due THURSDAY MAY 13 @ 5 pm.

email one copy to professor, put one complete group copy in box outside of the Government department

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individual assessment of group project due Friday, MAY 14 @ 5 pm.

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