You are on page 1of 18

Department of Politics and International Relations

Division of Humanities
Macquarie University

African Politics and Globalisation

Semester 2 , 2008

1a. Convenor
Name: Dr Pieter Fourie
Phone: 9850 8659
Office: W6A 430
1b. Lecturer(s), tutor(s) and other teaching staff
1c. General inquiries
Name: Kelli-lee Drake
Phone: +61 2 9850 8869
Office: W6A 440

2a. Unit description
The last several years might be remembered in the West as the "Years of Africa".
The release in March 2005 of the report "Our Common Interest Report of the
Commission for Africa", sponsored by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and the
decisions of the G8 Group meeting in Scotland in J uly, could show that Africa was
brought to the attention of Western governments in new ways. Since then African
issues have remained in the news, but not always in positive ways that show the G8
objectives being met. In this unit we will assess these and other recent events,
building on an historical knowledge of the politics of the continent.

The unit requires a focus both on Africa – the continent, its people and their politics –
and on the place of Africa in the world of international relations and globalisation.
History is important in making a critique of current ideas and practices, but the unit
does not presuppose much existing knowledge of the complexities of the many
nations and movements of the continent. The first part of the unit approaches Africa
in a descriptive and analytical way, noting continuities in political argument and
raising themes for discussion. The second part is concerned with the debates around
‘globalisation’ and uses material from the first half to assess African futures at local
and international levels.

Africa is still the unknown, or mythically known, continent. A review of the continent
and its peoples in historical times, and the political struggles especially of the last
thirty years, shows turbulence and loss (the massacres of Rwanda-Burundi and the
Angolan famine, amongst many) but also the triumph of a negotiated end to
apartheid (South Africa). The politics of each country has a distinctive pattern, and
the nature and relations of sixty countries or so – let alone their relations with the rest
of the world – are sure to appear complex. But the ‘African story’ is also connected,
perhaps in new ways in a post-colonial age, though the continuing existence of those
polities (states) is largely a product of the colonial era.

The second part of the unit sees Africa globally, and from perspectives that may
transcend the old categories of state and empire. Africa is said to be the poorest
continent, but it is also said to be a beneficiary of globalisation, and both propositions
are tested in the unit. The difference made by ‘September 11’ is assessed in
understanding Africa in the world, as is the move from the Organisation of African
Unity (OAU, 1963) to the African Union (AU, 2002) and what can be seen as a
response in the West through the Commission for Africa and the G8 decisions.
2b. Unit outcomes
1. outline the chronology of the continent, showing, with maps or short points, the
major divisions of countries, cultures and political systems;

2. demonstrate, in oral and written presentation, an ability to summarise key ideas
about African politics and issues of globalisation and their relationship;

3. show a knowledge of the detail of the political life of at least two African countries,
especially over the last thirty or so years; and

4. use a wide range of written and digital resources related to African politics.
2c. Graduate capabilities
1. Life-long learning
An enduring orientation toward learning, including the capability to continue to:
• reflect on one’s own practice and relationships with others and the
environment (whether social, natural or organisational);
• assess one’s own capacities and developmental needs;
• learn and grow, professionally, personally and socially; and
• respond to change in a positive and constructive way.
2. Discipline knowledge and skills
The attainment of scholarly understanding and specific content knowledge at a level
that enables the graduate to:
• act confidently and competently in their chosen field or profession, and
contribute to interdisciplinary thinking;
• demonstrate, where applicable, technical and professional competence and
standards of practice, team work and the ability to work independently; and
• undertake continuing professional development and learning in their chosen
field or profession.
3. Critical, analytic and integrative thinking
The capability to reason, question and analyse, and to integrate and synthesise
learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments in order to:
• acknowledge and critique constraints, assumptions and limitations;
• apply systems thinking in problem-solving both at work and in the community;
• apply knowledge and judgment to evaluate systems, policies and solutions, as
appropriate; and
• reflect on, and be willing to revise, one’s own assumptions.
4. Creativity and initiative
The capability to work with imagination and apply curiosity, initiative and creativity in
order to:
• initiate, develop and express new idea;
• create, apply, adapt and expand knowledge;
• lead and inspire others in seeking and implementing innovative solutions to
problems at work and in the community;
• adapt to diverse and changing environments; and
• adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations.
5. Effective communication
The capability to use a variety of media, including electronic and visual media, to:
• communicate information and opinion in forms appropriate for the intended
• access resources;
• read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information;
• write clearly; and
• speak effectively.
6. Global and local citizenship
The capability to engage with local and global communities using approaches
characterised and informed by:
• respect for diversity;
• knowledge of, openness and sensitivity to, and skills in working collectively
and individually with, other cultures and perspectives;
• ethical practice in relation to social and environmental responsibility;
• awareness of social disadvantage and social justice issues;
• willingness to contribute to creating a wiser and better society; and
• understanding of connectivities between local and global issues.
7. Problem-solving and research
The capability to apply research skills and analytic approaches in seeking solutions
to problems, by:
• seeking out, interpreting, evaluating and applying information, data and
• building knowledge through creative imagination and structured
• effectively and efficiently analysing problems and situations;
• relating one’s own and others’ fields of knowledge to complex situations at
work and in the community.

3a. Delivery mode
3b. Lecture times and locations
For internal students, lectures are given on Tuesdays 2pm (E7B100) and on
Thursdays at 2pm (E7B100). Tutorials (one hour) are Tuesday at 3pm (E6A 109) and
Thursday at 11am (W5C210), 12 noon (W5C 334) and 3pm (E5A 309).

For current updates, lecture times and classrooms please consult the MQ Timetables
3c. Required and recommended resources


One reading book is set and six volumes for reference are held in Reserve (*),
together with other sources listed below. The reading book is a selection of readings
for each tutorial (shown below) and is available from the University Cooperative

The reference texts are:

* Chazan, N., P. Lewis, R. Mortimer, D.Rothchild and S. Stedman (1999) Politics and
Society in Contemporary Africa, 3rd ed. Lynne Rienner Boulder 1999.

* Clapham, Christopher (1996) Africa and the International System the Politics of
State Survival, Cambridge Studies in International Relations 50, Cambridge:
Cambridge UP.

* Easterly, William Russell (2006) The White Man’s Burden : why the West’s efforts to
aid the rest have done so much ill and so little good, New York : Penguin Press, 2006.

* Iliffe, J ohn (1995) Africans : the History of a Continent , New York: Cambridge
University Press.

* Stiglitz, J oseph E. (2002) Globalization and Its Discontents, New York, London :
W.W. Norton & Co.

* Thomson, Alex (2004) An Introduction to African Politics, 2nd ed. London:
Routledge 2004.

These volumes are used in lectures throughout and are good background to the
themes of the unit. They will be useful for essays. In addition, the following can be
consulted as general introductions to the history and societies of Africa; none is
exclusively a politics text, but the background contained in each is useful, and at
least one should be worked through fairly quickly.

* Ellis, Stephen, ed. (1996) Africa Now Peoples Policies and Institutions. The Hague:

* Griffiths, I. (1995) The African Inheritance, London and New York: Routledge.
* Martin, Phyllis M. and O’Meara, Patrick (1995) Africa, 3 ed. Bloomington: Indiana.

* Reader, J ohn (1998, reprinted 2002). Africa A Biography of the Continent, London:
For an introduction by an African writer, see

* Mazrui, Ali A. (1980) The African Condition A Political Diagnosis, Reith Lectures,
London: Heinemann. Mazrui’s other writings are worth checking also.

The library’s holdings in African politics are somewhat limited, especially in the
current period of the last decade or so, but many of the older volumes repay study.
They give a good background that can be updated quite quickly if you know what you
are looking for, such as recent political developments in a particular country. So do
browse the shelves (most around DT30 – 38 at Macquarie and, for the second part of
the course especially, the globalisation literature at J Z).

Reading for the unit will also require the use of journals and periodical literature. The
library holds (as hard-copy) a number of journals that are worth browsing over a
period of time as sources of detail and argument. These include Africa Quarterly, the
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, the Journal of Modern African
Studies and the Journal of Southern African Studies. It is expected, however, that
you will do most of your search and retrieval of journals from the Web-based
databases available through the Library; please let the convener know urgently if you
have any problem accessing and using (for example) Ingenta or Worldwide Political
Science Abstracts.

From other Web sources will come a high proportion of the material used in the unit,
including cultural and popular manifestations of political struggle. Film and video are
used in the unit, but the books and journals indicated above must form the core of
your reading, around which resources from the Web and other resources should be

Following is a basic list of Web “Guides to Africa and African Politics”.
(Columbia University’s center for African studies)
(the electronic form of the subscription newsletter)
(the BBC’s Focus on Africa magazine)
(a commercial South African source with politics as well as finance)
(a commercial news service)
(the site of the Norwegian Council for Africa)
(the homepage of the African National Congress with useful links)
(the homepage of the Institute for Democracy South Africa with useful links)
(a new site emphasising Australian-African links)

Explore these sites soon, and discover some good sites yourself – there will be
opportunity in class to share these with others.

3e. Online information
At Macquarie, we use WebCT and other Internet technologies to deliver online units
and teaching resources through the Online Teaching Facility. Information about
accessing and using this facility can be found at:
Please direct any questions about passwords, access and WebCT to the IT helpdesk.
You can email them via the J ust Ask form at,
access their help via or phone (02) 9850
HELP, (02) 9850 4357 (in Sydney) or 1 800 063 191 (outside Sydney).

4a. Assessment at a glance
Assessment Name: Attendance and participation (internal students)
Weight: 15%
Due Date: Throughout semester
Linked Unit
1 and 3
Linked Graduate
2, 3, 4, 5,
Brief Description: Internal students should attend all tutorials and participate
in discussion in a structured way as indicated by the tutor.

Assessment Name: Tutorial paper
Weight: Internal students 20%, External 25%
Due Date: Due at negotiated times
Linked Unit
2, 3, 4
Linked Graduate
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7,
Brief Description: Internal students are asked to select a topic from the list
below and to make a short presentation (maximum two
A4 pages) to the class in an agreed slot (to be allocated
in tutorials in week 2), and to submit a short paper
summarising their presentation at that class. External
students should also similarly select a topic and mail in a
paper within two weeks of the chosen week to allow time
for the lectures to be taken into account; maximum length
1 000 words. In general, the readings for each week will
provide sufficient material to address a topic but of course
other appropriate material can be referenced.

Assessment Name: Major essay
Weight: Internal students 30%, External 40%
Due Date: 7 November 2008
Linked Unit
2, 3, 4
Linked Graduate
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
Brief Description: Topics for the major essay will be circulated in Week 4.
(3000 words maximum)

Assessment Name: Final exam
Weight: 35%
Due Date: Time to be notified
Linked Unit
1, 2, 3, 4
Linked Graduate
2, 3, 5, 6, 7,
Brief Description: Details for the format of the examination will be given
during the semester.

4b. Assessment Tasks
Tutorial and external participation
Tutors will look for evidence of student knowledge of set readings, analysis of those
readings expressed in verbal form, ability to complete set questions and tasks and
willingness to work with and respond to the views of the tutor and other students in
verbal form. External students will be expected to meet essay standards in submitting
their tutorial papers.
4c. Attendance
Internal students who miss more than three tutorials without evidence of an
unforeseen and serious disruption (eg illness, supported by a medical certificate) will
be excluded from the unit.
4d. Examination(s)
There will be a written examination in the examination period. The examination is of
two hours duration and will consist of short (word or sentence) answers and a choice
of short essays.
4e. Assignment submission
• All assignments must be submitted in hard copy in the POL 251 box on the
ground floor of W6A (or in the after hours box near the main entrance if you
are submitting it when the building is closed), NOT by email. Internal students
must attach a cover sheet to each assignment, which can be picked up from
reception on the first floor of W6A
• Read, sign, and attach the declaration before submitting your work
• Make sure to include the course number, your name, your student number,
and your tutorial time and tutor
• All marked assignments will be returned in class (except for external students,
who will be sent their marked assignments). If you miss the class when they
are returned they can be picked up from the Humanities Reception Desk on
the ground floor of W6A.
4f. Extensions and penalties
These are only granted on grounds of illness or misadventure, and appropriate
supporting documentation (along with an extension form signed by a staff member)
must be submitted. If you are having problems, please speak to your tutor as early as
4g. Returning assignments
Tutorial will be returned within two weeks of submission, if submission is made on
time. Essays will be returned before the final examination, again if submitted on time.

5a. Policies and procedures
Macquarie Univiersity has a range of policies, including many on learning and
teaching. For details, please go to Policy Central (
5b. Feedback and unit evaluation
In this unit you will receive a range of verbal and written feedback on your
assessment tasks and work in class or online.
To monitor how successful we are in providing quality teaching and learning, the
Division of Humanities also seeks feedback from students. One of the key formal
ways students have to provide feedback is through unit and teacher evaluation
surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Division with evidence of
aspects that students are satisfied with and areas for improvement. The Division of
Humanities also holds two student feedback meetings per year. Please watch for
advertisements for these meetings and take the opportunity to share your
suggestions for improvement. At present, the Division is prioritising feedback on
assessment and feedback.
Immediate feedback for us
According to past evaluations of this unit, we have set an improvement priority for
this semester. These are
timely feedback and student engagement.
6a. Unit schedule
Week Date Lecture Tutorial Assessment
1 Week
beginning 4
The map of the continent in
history: peoples, places,
Guidance on sources
No tutorials in
Week 1
2 Week
The European Empires
1650 – 1960 (or 1994?)
The Scramble for Africa;
the idea of state and nation
in Africa
List the Empires: Portugal,
Compare and
contrast the
motivations of
any two of the
empires in the
“scramble for
3 Week
Patterns of Settlement and
Revolt 1650 - 1994
The rise and fall of
Why were
Marlow and
Kurtz in Africa?
for those
August empires; the twentieth
Answer from
perspectives of
(a) Marlow (b)
Kurtz and (c) a
member of the
crew of the
4 Week
The liberation movements
1880 – 1996
French and British Africa
compared; Cold War
diplomacy and Africa
What is the
significance of
of Patrice
for those
5 Week
beginning 1
The Empires Revisited -
Europe and Islam
The African diaspora and
“Black Power”
The “Clash of Civilisations”
Mazrui’s view
of African
civilization with
for those
6 Week
The new world order and
“structural adjustment” in
Economic and political
forces in the post-Cold War
era: the UN, WHO,
IMF ,World bank
The "Commission on
Africa" and the "G8 Africa
Action Plan".
What are the
major problems
facing African
societies? Are
these African or
for those
7 Week
The “special case” of South
Africa (1)
The mfekane; the liberation
Truth and reconciliation
success, and
his greatest
for those
Semester Break
8 Week
6 October
South Africa (2)
Mbeki presidency
Explain South
approach to the
for those
9 Week
13 October
Africa in the World 2002
A review by region and
country: spots hot and cold
program for
for those
‘China Rising’ in Africa
Regional associations in
Africa; African membership
of world organizations
The African Union and
NEPAD; the "Commission
for Africa" revisited.
action or a
cover for
‘business as
10 Week
20 October
Options for Africa; state-
building, insurgency and
other perspectives
“Democracy’ in Africa -test
cases: Nigeria, South
Africa, the DRC
What would it
take to ‘make
poverty history’
in Africa?
for those
11 Week
27 October
Africa, the Commonwealth
and Zimbabwe
The war and genocide in
The African Union in
Explain why
Robert Mugabe
(or another
leader of an
African country
in crisis) is as
he is.
for those
12 Week
beginning 3
Africa and Australian Aid,
Trade and Diplomacy
NGOs and government
Regions, priorities,
A ‘White Paper’ on Africa;
an Australia-Africa Council
What should
“African policy”
for those

Major essay
due 7
13 Week
Review Questions to
6b.Topic Planner
The tutorial discussions will be based on the week's lecture topics. The topics listed
above for each week correspond to tutorial discussions. Ideally you should do the
readings after having heard the lectures and come to the following week's tutorial
prepared to discuss the topic. The reading for the unit is not onerous and the lecturer
and tutor expect all required reading to be done.
Following is the list of readings contained in the volume that can be purchased from the
Cooperative Bookshop, or, in some cases, found on the Web ( see the url given). Other
readings will be available on the online Blackboard facility.

Week 2

J oseph E. Harris, Africans and Their History, Meridian: New York, second rev ed. 1998,
extract pp 203-29.

J ulius Amin, “Africans and African-Americans an enduring relationship”, Africa Insight, 35,
1 (April 2005), pp 58-64.

J oseph E. Harris, Africans and Their History, Meridian: New York, second rev ed. 1998,
extract pp 203-29.

J ulius Amin, “Africans and African-Americans an enduring relationship”, Africa Insight, 35,
1 (April 2005), pp 58-64.

Week 3

J oseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness with The Congo Diary, Penguin: Harmondsworth 1995, ed.
R. Hampson, extract (pp v, 70-2, 90-96).

K K Ruthven, extract from C B Cox (ed.), Conrad Heart of Darkness, London: Macmillan
1981, pp 78-84.
Week 4

Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, The Congo from Leopold to Kabila A People's History, London:
Zed Books, 2002, pp 94-120

Stephen R Weissman, "Congo-Kinshasa" (news report), 22/7/02

Week 5

Samuel P Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, New
York: Simon and Schuster 1996, pp 40-51.

Ali A Mazrui, The African Condition A Political Diagnosis, Reith Lectures, London:
Heinemann 1980, pp 90-112.

Week 6

Romilly Greenhill and Ann Pettifor, "The United States a HIPC*", London: J ubilee Research
at the New Economics Foundation, April 2002.

J effrey Sachs, "Doing the Sums on Africa", The Economist, 22/5/04.

"Our Common Interest Report of the Commission for Africa",

"G8 Africa Action Plan",

Week 7

Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, London: Little Brown 1994, pp 512-21, 562-71.
Robert Harvey, The Fall of Apartheid The Inside Story from Smuts to Mbeki, Basingstoke:
Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, pp 216-30.

Week 8

Virginia van der Vliet, "AIDS: Losing the 'New Struggle'?", Daedalus, Winter 2001, pp 151-

J effrey D Sachs, "The voiceless dying" extract from The End of Poverty Economic
Possibilities for Our Time, New York: Penguin 2005, pp 188-209.
Week 9

Eddy Maloka, “NEPAD and its critics”, Africa Insight, 34, 4 (Dec. 2004), pp 3 -11.
Pieter Fourie and Brendan Vickers, “African economic pragmatism, NEPAD and policy
prostitution”, Africa Insight, 33, 3 (September 2003), pp 11-19.
J akkie Cilliers, “Terrorism and Africa”, African Security Review, 12, 4 (2003), pp91-103.

Week 10

Claude Ake, Democracy and Development in Africa, Washington DC: The Brookings
Institute 1996, pp 124-59.
Boyboy Motloung and Ronald Mears, “An integrated approach to alleviating poverty in
Africa”, Africa Insight, 33, 4 (December 2003), pp 3-10.

Week 11

Geoff Hill, The Battle for Zimbabwe The Final Countdown, Cape Town: Zebra 2003, pp 47-

Dept Foreign Affairs (Botswana), press release, 25/5/04.
Deon Geldenhuys, “ Darfur and Sudan’s politics of deviance” , Africa Insight, 35, 3 (September
2005), pp 38-47.

Alex De Waal, “Tragedy in Darfur on Understanding and ending the Horror”, Boston Review,
October/November 2004,, accessed 11 J uly
Week 12

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia) (DFATa), "Australian Development
Assistance Strategy for Africa 2003 to 2007 Issues Paper", Canberra, ca J une 2002.
DFATb, "Summary of Australia's International Development Cooperation 2004-05",
Canberra, J une 2004.
AusAID, extract from Australian Aid: Promoting Growth and Stability A White Paper on the
Australian Government's Overseas Aid Program, Canberra 2006, p 31.