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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Political Science (PL SC)

PL SC 454 (IL) (AFR 454) Government and Politics of Africa (3) Contemporary African politics, institutions, and ideologies; patterns of change, social forces, and nation building in selected African states.

PL SC (AAA S) 454 Government and Politics of Africa (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

In this course, we will discuss the current democratization trend in Africa by focusing on the experiences of African countries.

The course is divided into three sections. Part One considers a range of factors that affect politics in Africa. We will discuss in depth the following factors: colonialism, nationalism, the relationship between state and society, ruler-ship, the military, political parties, and economic development. Then, we will consider the experiences of our four cases, to gain a historical background. In part two, we will focus on democratic transitions. We will discuss the factors that enable transitions to occur, as well as the process that transitions follow. Then, we will consider four transitions: two that resulted in the installation of a democratic government (Nigeria in 1979, Sudan in 1986) and two that ended in continued authoritarianism (Angola in 1992, Kenya in 1978). Part three considers the prospects of democracy. We will discuss the probability of a democratic transition occurring in the near future.

The goals of this class are four fold. First, students will gain detailed knowledge about four African countries. Second, we will learn how to compare countries. Third, students will have a better understanding of the democratization process in general, and will be able to explain or predict democratization beyond the four cases discussed in this class. Finally, the experiences of these four countries offer a deeper understanding of what democracy is and provide students with greater flexibility to fulfill requirements in either the African and African American Studies major or the Political Science/International Politics major. PL SC 454 will be offered once per year with 35-50 seats per offering.

General Education: None
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: Other Cultures and Social and Behavioral Sciences
Effective: Fall 2012
Prerequisite: 3 credits from:AFR 110, PL SC 003, PL SC 020 orPL SC 022

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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