International Relations of Africa

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 2 or Year 3
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Politics and International Studies

Module overview

This module examines the international politics of sub-Saharan Africa since Independence organised around four main themes.

The first concentrates on the emergence of African states, the nature and analysis of that statehood and the degrees of conflict and cooperation between African states. The second theme looks at the insertion of African states into the international order, including the economic order and their participation in international politics.

The third theme assesses the period after the end of the Cold War and concentrates on three main sub themes: firstly the nature of conflict within Africa and the emergence of a greater degree of outside intervention in that conflict; secondly the attempt, also largely by outside agencies, to effect long-term fundamental change within African societies; thirdly the ways in which African states have changed regional organisations to meet a new international environment. The last theme raises the question whether new developments in global politics are fundamentally changing the international position of African states.

Objectives and learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the international politics of Africa.
  • Gain a broad overview of the different analytical approaches to studying the international politics of Africa.
  • Develop a basic understanding of the relationship between the analysis of the international politics of Africa and the theoretical analysis of international relations in general, both normative and empirical.


This module will be taught over 20 weeks with:

  • One 1-hour lecture per week
  • One 1-hour tutorial per week

Method of assessment

  • Assignment 1: 10%
  • Assignment 2: 25%
  • Assignment 3: 45%
  • Assignment 4: Presentation 10%
  • Assignment 5: Seminar Participation 10%


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.