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African Initiatives

Africa Classes

Classes on AFrica Being offered at Korbel

INTS 4625 - East African Development and Human Rights

This course begins with an introduction to the cultural richness and diversity of East African societies, with an overview as to how tribes, chiefdoms, and states function. Religious influences will be noted. The history of development, as externally conceptualized, will begin with the Berlin Conference of 1884/85 and the so-called "scramble for Africa." It will feature socio-economic and socio-political processes. 20th and 21st century external development programs will be covered, most recently exemplified by the former Soviet Union, the United States, and China. Principles of induced development and participatory development will be contrasted, and indigenous innovations will be stressed. The history of human rights, as externally conceptualized, will begin much later, with the 1969 refugee-related innovations of the Organization of African Unity (now, the African Union). The "classic" issues of tribalism, corruption, and resource exploitation will be covered, as will the "late-breaking" issues of food security, refugee repatriation, and child soldier rehabilitation. Special projects will be featured, exemplified by those involving D.U. personnel in Kibera, Kenya (water and sanitation); Mai Misham, Ethiopia (literacy); and Juba, S. Sudan (indigenous leadership). At the broadest level, examples will most often be drawn from the water/sanitation, agricultural, and health/mental health sectors.

INTS 4627 - African Security

A theoretically grounded graduate course examining African politics and (in)security. Theory facilitates the understanding of African politics, conflict and security issues – especially as they pertain to human security. Through the readings, students will become familiar with major analytic frameworks and debates on contemporary African politics; students will be conversant in relevant political, civil-military and human security issues in sub-Saharan Africa. The focus is on the development an analytical framework to better understand context. Context without a cohesive theoretical framework to inform the practitioner is insufficient. With the understanding that African elites benefit from the existing structures and incentives, this course seeks to understand the modern African state in order to best engage with an aim to further development and security.

INTS – 4427 The Political Economy of African Development

This course explores the political economy of development in Africa, with special reference to sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the course draws on economics, international political economy, social anthropology and comparative politics to analyze patterns and trajectories of social, political and economic development in the region. Throughout the course, empirical evidence from diverse country cases is discussed, with a particular focus on national policy, major trends in international policy advise, the development of domestic political and economic institutions, and the nature of local power relations that shape development outcomes on the continent.

INTS 4567 - Democratization in Fragile States – Africa

This course will trace the development of democracy across Africa, take stock of current trends in democratization, and analyze prospects for democratic deepening on the continent. We begin the semester by laying a theoretical foundation for the course. We will examine the concepts, meanings, and measurements of democracy. And we will examine the structure of political institutions (both formal and non-formal) and political behavior on the continent. We then consider processes of democratic change and issues in African democratization. We trace the trajectories of political change in Africa as well as trends in legal and legislative reform in some countries. We discuss the role of civil society in facilitating democratization and take stock of human rights regimes across the continent. We pay particular attention to elections in Africa, examining their outcomes, their effectiveness, and their relationship to intergroup conflict. And we discuss the international dimensions of democratization by analyzing the role of U.S. and European "democracy promotion" programs. We also examine the theoretical relationship between development and democracy as well as its practical implications for African countries. We will ask policy-relevant questions like, "How can African countries build strong institutions in the face of economic stagnation?" We conclude the semester by exploring the challenges that many African countries face on their journey towards democratic consolidation.

INTS 4966 - Applied Field Methods: Africa

This graduate-level course focus on the practicalities of conducting qualitative field research, while providing a foundation derived from ethics, practice, experience, and theory. Demograpahy, development, human rights, humanitarianism, education, health, ecology, and political systems are featured. While the methods covered are in one sense universal, in another sense they are tuned specifically to a sub-Saharan African context. The writings of African scholars, and Africanists based elsewhere, are emphasized. Students are required to develop one short field research protocol, suitable for submission to the university's Institutional Review Board (IRB), and one long protocol encompassing all the elements necessary to strategize and conduct advanced field research in an African context.