African politics undergrad syllabus fall 2011

African politics undergrad syllabus fall 2011 - Comparative...

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1 Comparative Politics of Middle and Southern Africa PSC 2381 Fall 2011 Wednesdays and Fridays 12:45pm to 2pm MPA, Room 305 Professor Gina M. S. Lambright Office : 466 Monroe Hall Office hours : Fridays 2:30pm-4:30pm, and by appt. Email : glambrig@gwu.edu Office telephone : 202-994-7591 Course Description: This course serves as an introduction to the politics of sub-Saharan Africa. The principal objective is to provide students with both conceptual and theoretical tools and substantive information that will enable them to understand and explain political events in sub-Saharan Africa. To achieve this objective we will examine the historical context of contemporary African politics, focusing on traditional political systems, the legacy of colonialism, and the politics of the independence period. We will then turn to political development in the contemporary period, particularly exploring the political relevance and impacts of important social cleavages and various political institutions. We will also examine the experiences of African countries with the wave of democratization in the 1990s and the process of consolidating democracy in these countries, including the process of democratic reversal that has been a common phenomenon in many African countries recently. Learning Objectives: As noted above, this course serves as an introduction to the major political processes, actors and institutions of African politics. By the end of the semester, students will: Understand the historical and contemporary factors that affect chances for the establishment and survival of democracy in Africa Be able to draw on scholarly writing on African politics in order to analyze current political events in Africa and to interpret critically popular news coverage of such events Be able to apply the general theories that we will have discussed throughout the semester to evaluate the prospects for democracy to emerge and survive in a particular African country Course Requirements: Your course grade (a maximum score of 100) will be based upon the following criteria. Exams There will be two exams. A midterm, worth 30 percent of your final grade, will be held during regular class time (12:45pm-2pm) on Wednesday, October 19 . The midterm will cover material covered in the assigned readings and during class lectures and discussions through the end of class on Friday, October 14. There will also be a final exam worth 35 percent of your final grade. The final exam will be cumulative, covering all material presented in readings and
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2 class lectures/discussion during the semester. The final will be held as scheduled in the final exam schedule (date to be announced later). Both exams may include a mix of short answer, multiple choice and essay questions.
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African politics undergrad syllabus fall 2011 - Comparative...

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