By Goran Hyden
This publication stories fifty years of analysis on politics in Africa. It synthesizes insights from diverse scholarly methods and gives an unique interpretation of the data gathered through the years. It discusses how study on African politics relates the examine of politics in different areas and mainstream theories in Comparative Politics. It specializes in such key matters because the legacy of a stream method of political switch, the character of the country, the economic climate of a situation, the coverage deficit, the agrarian query, gender and politics and ethnicity and clash.
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Extra resources for African Politics in Comparative Perspective
Ethnicity and Conflict, Chapter Nine, traces the way the concept of ethnicity has featured in the study of African politics and how, more recently, it has P1: FBQ 0521856167c01 CB938B/Hyden 0 521 85616 7 The Study of Politics and Africa October 26, 2005 15:21 23 been examined, especially in the context of the growing number of intrastate conflicts in the region. It argues that neither ethnicity per se nor access to economic enclave resources is enough to explain the frequency of conflict. Instead, the cause of conflict must be sought in the political realm and especially in the inclination among leaders to demonstrate that they have prestigious followings that give them power and influence in the political game.
Movements in Africa are ubiquitous, but differ in their orientation and organization. The old nationalist movements were the most embracing because they fought a common enemy. The liberation movements were more exclusive, because they relied on a disciplined vanguard. The more recent movements that have been created to deal with power challenges within African countries are of two kinds: (a) those that strive for a broad-based reform of the political regime inspired at least in part by a cosmopolitan outlook, and (b) those that face challenges to their power from within and as a result become reactive and vindictive, causing civil conflict.
They set the tone for others to follow: the notion of the supremacy of politics in defense of colonized people. To the extent that we look for agency among African leaders, we should focus on their wish to conquer the political kingdom and reverse or oppose the agenda that has been set for them by outsiders, be they the colonial powers as in the past or members of the international community as in more recent years. To fully appreciate this story of fifty years of independence politics, it is appropriate to begin this volume with an analysis of how the supremacy of politics emerged and has since manifested itself, beginning with the early years of independence and moving forward to more recent times.