International Politics of Africa

Key information

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Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Politics and International Studies

Module overview

This module examines the international politics of sub-saharan Africa since Independence. Against a background sketch of nationalism and decolonisation the first half of the course concentrates on the emergence of African states, conflict and cooperation between them and the insertion of those states into the international order. In the second half of the module the emphasis shifts to the period since the end of the Cold War and is organised round two main themes. Firstly the nature of conflict within Africa and the emergence of a greater degree of outside intervention in that conflict and secondly the attempt, also largely by outside agencies, to effect long-term fundamental change within African societies. Throughout considerable emphasis is placed on the critical questioning of mainstream orthodoxies both academic and policy-oriented.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

By the end of the module students will have acquired:

  • Knowledge about the international politics of Africa
  • A broad overview of the different analytical approaches to studying the international politics of Africa
  • A preliminary understanding of the relationship between the analysis of the international politics of Africa and the theoretical analysis of international relations in general, both formative and empirical


This module is taught in the form of a one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar each week.

Method of assessment

Assessment is 30% coursework and 70% unseen examination. All coursework is resubmissible


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