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

Postgraduate Course: Contemporary African Issues and Debates (PGSP11076)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryContemporary African Issues and Debates (CAID) aims to allow students to frame and interrogate a range of contemporary debates using the theories and skills brought up in the parallel Building Blocks of African Studies core course. The debates attempt to tackle issues that are common to much of sub-Saharan Africa today. Adhering to the usual caveat about diversity across the continent, the course acknowledges that Africa is an amalgamation of societies, something which is not always appreciated by those who consider Africa a country. CAID attempts to transcend such views through analysing issues that are commonly discussed in various fora inside and outside the continent.
Course description Each week students will prepare and lead a seminar on a key contemporary issue relating to Africa. This is with a view to further shaping students' own thinking and analytical skills, bridging the conceptual focus of Building Blocks of African Studies with the student-led discipline of the dissertation.

A sample of covered topics includes Peacekeeping, Forced displacement, International Criminal Court (ICC), Conflict and its depictions, Sexuality policies and politics, Slacktivism and arm chair activism.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the background and context of selected contemporary issues in Africa.
  2. Locate relevant literature in a supervisor-supervisee -like relationship
  3. Construct original academic arguments based on secondary research
  4. Understand the relationships between concepts, theories and critiques of contemporary African issues and developments.
Reading List
Background readings:

Anderson, D., Cheeseman, N., eds. 2013. Routledge Handbook of African Politics. London: Routledge.

Chabal, P., Daloz, J. P. 1999. Africa works: Disorder as political instrument. Oxford: James Currey.
Cheeseman, N. 2015. Democracy in Africa: Successes, Failures, and the Struggle for Political Reform. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Cooper, F. 2002. Africa Since 1940: The past of the present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nugent, P. 2004 [or the second edition, 2012]. Africa since Independence: A comparative history. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

Specific readings will be provided for each topic, including peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and online outlets like academic blogs and government, NGO, and activist reports
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Undertaking and presenting scholarly work
2. Participating in group discussion
3. Making appropriate use of library and IT resources
4. Theoretically and contextually framing potential research questions
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Maggie Dwyer
Tel: (0131 6)51 5076
Course secretaryMs Jessica Barton
Tel: (0131 6)51 5066
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