Our acclaimed core and affiliated faculty produce a wide range of works centered on both the growing concerns and historical cornerstones facing the continent of Africa.
Legislative Development in Africa by Ken Opalo
Legislative Development in Africa, answers two simple questions: (i) what explains variation in legislative strength under autocracy? and (ii) under what conditions does the transition to democracy result in the strengthening of legislatures? The book speaks to the wider comparative political economy literature on autocratic institutions and the origins of limited democratic government. The main goal of the book is to trace, through quantitative and qualitative means, the autocratic origins of democratic institutions. In addition to a survey of legislative development in Africa from their founding under colonialism to the present, the book also provides detailed case studies of the Kenyan and Zambian legislatures.
Africa 2050 by Callisto Madavo
Africa is at a critical inflection point. After decades of disappointing performance a combination of sound macro policies and a commodity price bonanza has led to a dramatic and long overdue surge in African growth rates and concomitant improvement in social indicators. This impressive performance has now created its own challenge for African leadership-the heightened aspirations of their own people and the expectation of the world at large. And responding to this challenge will definitely require more than staying the course-more of the same will not work. It will require bold and tenacious pursuit of multifaceted policies and initiatives that will call for intellectual integrity and single?minded determination combined with political courage at home and statesmanship abroad. It is in this context that the experience of the other emerging markets economies may provide pointers as African leaders grapple with the complex multidimensional issues of not just maintaining but accelerating economic growth, prosperity and wellbeing of their populace. To set the stage for defining the opportunities and the promise that can lie ahead, this report sets out alternative scenarios of what the outcomes could be but not predictions of what they will be. This study also outlines a framework and action agenda that can deliver Africa’s promise. Africa 2050 is available from Oxford University Press.
To Dwell Secure: Generation, Christianity and Colonialism in Ovamboland by Meredith McKittrick
The Ovambo communities of the Cuvelai floodplain in northern Namibia have embraced Christianity with enthusiasm. Christianity meant many different things to floodplain communities and struggles to incorporate Christianity paralleled and intersected with other ongoing struggles. This work shows how a local micro-history can illuminate the understanding of historical process throughout Africa. To Dwell Secure is available on Amazon.
African Feminism by Gwen Mikell
African feminism, this landmark volume demonstrates, differs radically from the Western forms of feminism with which we have become familiar since the 1960s. African feminists are not, by and large, concerned with issues such as female control over reproduction or variation and choice within human sexuality, nor with debates about essentialism, the female body, or the discourse of patriarchy. The feminism that is slowly emerging in Africa is distinctly heterosexual, pro-natal, and concerned with “bread, butter, and power” issues. Contributors present case studies of ten African states, demonstrating that–as they fight for access to land, for the right to own property, for control of food distribution, for living wages and safe working conditions, for health care, and for election reform–African women are creating a powerful and specifically African feminism. African Feminism is available on Amazon.
Cocoa and Chaos in Ghana by Gwen Mikell
Cocoa and Chaos in Ghana is the story of the Ghanaian odyssey and, through it, the odyssey of all of Black Africa. Using historic and socioeconomic data plus readable analysis, Gwendolyn Mikell traces the past and present political and social systems in Ghana, focusing especially on the relationships over the years between rural producers in Ghana and the state. Mikell traces the causes of rural exploitation and political collapse in Ghana as well as the new and more destructive rural/national relations created by the dependence on cocoa. Also discussed is the fragmentation of social structures, lineage, and community relations. Cocoa and Chaos in Ghana is available on Amazon.
Making Citizens in Africa: Ethnicity, Gender, and National Identity in Ethiopia by Lahra Smith
Making Citizens in Africa argues that citizenship creation and expansion is a pivotal part of political contestation in Africa today. Citizenship is a powerful analytical tool with which to approach political life in contemporary Africa because the institutional and structural reforms of the past two decades have been inextricably linked with the battle over the “right to have rights.” Professor Lahra Smith’s work advances the notion of meaningful citizenship, which refers to the way in which rights are exercised, or the effective practice of citizenship. Using data from Ethiopia and developing a historically informed and empirically nuanced study of language policy and ethnicity and gender identities, this book analyzes the contestation over citizenship that engages the state, social movements, and individuals in substantive ways. By combining original data on language policy in contemporary Ethiopia with detailed historical study and an analytical focus on ethnicity, citizenship, and gender, this work not only brings a fresh approach to Ethiopian political development but also to contemporary citizenship concerns relevant to other parts of Africa. Making Citizens in Africa is available on Amazon.
Business and the State in Southern Africa by Scott Taylor
Why are productive, development-supporting relations between business and government still so rare in Africa? Scott Taylor addresses this question, examining state-business coalitions as they emerge, and endure or collapse, in three representative countries: Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Taylor illuminates three possible trajectories: an abortive state-business coalition, as in Zambia; the emergence of a short-lived coalition, as in Zimbabwe; and a relatively successful and thus far durable coalition, as in South Africa. Though rooted in the southern African experience, his cases reflect much of the variance in outcomes throughout sub-Saharan Africa and shed light on the prospects for economic reform and development on the continent. It explores why state-business coalitions emerge (or do not) in Africa, and why they endure or collapse, drawing on three representative case studies. Business and the State in Southern Africa is available on Amazon.
Culture and Customs of Zambia by Scott Taylor
Zambia stands out in Africa as one of the continent’s most peaceful countries. In its early years as an independent state, Zambia became a regional bulwark against imperialism and colonial domination and South African apartheid. Today, it stands out as an important example of Africa’s recent democratization, experiencing both incredible success as well as some notable setbacks. The country is also one of the most urbanized in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a result of this urban influx, Zambia’s diverse ethno-linguistic groups interact regularly. Moreover, many contemporary Zambian households, especially those in cities, are also exposed to the media, technology, and influences of western urbanized cultures, from Internet cafes to hip hop music. The interesting ways that “tradition” and “modernity” conflict and combine in contemporary Zambia are prime considerations in this book. This book explores Zambia’s culture, with an eye toward its historical experiences and its particular endowments. It focuses on how “traditional” and “modern” interact, and sometimes collide, in the country through topics such as religion, gender roles and family, cuisine, the arts, literature, and more. The major groups are examined to give the reader an idea about how many Zambians live. Culture and Customs of Zambia is available on Amazon.
Politics In Southern Africa: State And Society In Transition by Scott Taylor and Gretchen Bauer
The authors first introduce the themes and concepts that guide their analysis. Then, in each of eight country studies, they trace the country’s political history (beginning with the colonial period) and discuss state structures, political and social actors, fundamentals of the political economy, and the major challenges faced by both state and society. The final section of the book investigates issues that transcend borders: gender and politics, the HIV/AIDS crisis, and southern Africa’s role in Africa and the world. Politics In Southern Africa is available on Amazon.