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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Modern Africa (PGSP11341)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaPostgrad (School of Social and Political Studies) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionWhereas the Contemporary African Issues and Debates core course is structured around specific debates is structured around specific debates, this course is intended to offer a more wide-ranging overview of social and political processes. It has been designed with a comparative framework in mind, and it remains explicitly interdisciplinary in focus. It begins with an analysis of colonial legacies and then proceeds to a closer analysis of specific themes in the social and political life of the continent, such as urbanisation and the political consequences of oil extraction. These themes have been selected according to their overall importance and the richness of the supporting literature. The course will cover all of sub-Saharan Africa. Whereas the lectures will draw broadly on comparisons from across the continent, the students will be encouraged to develop a deeper understanding of specific case-study material (always more than one) in project work linked to seminars. The focus will fall not merely on high politics and large structures/processes, but will also introduce students to popular conceptions of power and belonging. The course will be compulsory for students taking the M.Sc. in African Studies, but the intention that it will also be open to other postgraduate students in the School of Social and Political Studies and from other Schools.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  40
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 16/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
* A good working knowledge of the historical forces that have shaped contemporary Africa
* An enhanced ability to address contemporary issues in a comparative and critical manner
* An enhanced capacity to connect theory with empirical evidence in an independent manner
* An opportunity to improve on oral skills through seminars
* An enhancement of written skills
* An opportunity to engage in collaborative project work in co-operation with other students
* an opportunity to engage in issue-based problem solving through project work
Assessment Information
Students will be assessed through a single component:
(a) 4,000 word essay delivered at the end of the course. This will be based on comparative work linking larger bodies of literature with case-study material. The questions associated with the themes will provide the basis for a topic agreed between the course convenor and the student.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus The course will be delivered through a combination of lectures, which are designed to cover a broad range of phenomena, and student project work. The lecture topics are as follows:

1. African Studies and the Disciplines: A Set of Joking Relationships?
2. Colonial State, Violence and Histories of Extraversion
3. Islam, the State and Society: Comparative Experiences
4. Between State and Society: Traditional Authorities Reloaded
5. African Landscapes and the Politics of Land Reform
6. Anthropology of the State
7. Consumption, Culture and (In)equality
8. Urbanisation and Autochthony
9. Popular Culture and Politics from Below
10. Electoral Politics and the Elusiveness of Accountability
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list M. Boas and K. Dunn (eds.), African Guerrillas: Raging Against the Machine (2007).
Pierre Englebert, Africa; Unity, Sovereignty and Sorrow (2009), ch.2.
Jeffrey Herbst, States and Power in Africa: Comparative Lessons in Authority and Control (2000).
Achille Mbembe, On the Postcolony,
Paul Nugent, Africa Since Independence (2004).
Ike Okonta When Citizens Revolt: Nigerian Elites, Big Oil and the Ogoni Struggle for Self-Determination (2008).
Daniel Jordan Smith, A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria (2006).
Ricardo Soares de Oliviera, Oil and Politics in the Gulf of Guinea (2007)
Frederick Soderbaum and Ian Taylor (eds.), Afro-Regions: The Dynamics of Cross-Border Micro-Regionalism in Africa (2008).
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Paul Nugent
Tel: (0131 6)50 3756
Course secretaryMs Jessica Barton
Tel: (0131 6)51 1659
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