The Postcolonial State In Africa: Fifty Years Of Independence, 1960?2010

Paperback | November 20, 2012

byCrawford Young

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In The Postcolonial State in Africa, Crawford Young offers an informed and authoritative comparative overview of fifty years of African independence, drawing on his decades of research and first-hand experience on the African continent.
    Young identifies three cycles of hope and disappointment common to many of the African states (including those in North Africa) over the last half-century: initial euphoria at independence in the 1960s followed by disillusionment with a lapse into single-party autocracies and military rule; a period of renewed confidence, radicalization, and ambitious state expansion in the 1970s preceding state crisis and even failure in the disastrous 1980s; and a phase of reborn optimism during the continental wave of democratization beginning around 1990. He explores in depth the many African civil wars—especially those since 1990—and three key tracks of identity: Africanism, territorial nationalism, and ethnicity.
    Only more recently, Young argues, have the paths of the fifty-three African states begun to diverge more dramatically, with some leading to liberalization and others to political, social, and economic collapse—outcomes impossible to predict at the outset of independence.

“This book is the best volume to date on the politics of the last 50 years of African independence.”—International Affairs

“The book shares Young’s encyclopedic knowledge of African politics, providing in a single volume a comprehensive rendering of the first 50 years of independence. The book is sprinkled with anecdotes from his vast experience in Africa and that of his many students, and quotations from all of the relevant literature published over the past five decades. Students and scholars of African politics alike will benefit immensely from and enjoy reading The Postcolonial State in Africa.”—Political Science Quarterly

“The study of African politics will continue to be enriched if practitioners pay homage to the erudition and the nobility of spirit that has anchored the engagement of this most esteemed doyen of Africanists with the continent.”—African History Review

“The book’s strongest attribute is the careful way that comparative political theory is woven into historical storytelling throughout the text. . . . Written with great clarity even for all its detail, and its interwoven use of theory makes it a great choice for new students of African studies.”—Australasian Review of African Studies

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From the Publisher

In The Postcolonial State in Africa, Crawford Young offers an informed and authoritative comparative overview of fifty years of African independence, drawing on his decades of research and first-hand experience on the African continent.     Young identifies three cycles of hope and disappointment common to many of the African states (i...

Crawford Young is the Rupert Emerson Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His many books include The Rise and Decline of the Zairian State, Ideology and Development in Africa, The Politics of Cultural Pluralism, and The African Colonial State in Comparative Perspective.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:488 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.6 inPublished:November 20, 2012Publisher:University of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299291448

ISBN - 13:9780299291440

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Preface
Glossary and Acronyms
 
Part I Setting the Frame
1 A Half-Century of African Independence: Three Cycles of Hope and Disappointment
2 In Search of the African State
 
Part II Itineraries: The Three Cycles of Hope and Disappointment
3 Decolonization, the Independence Settlement, and Colonial Legacy
4 The Road to Autocracy: Breakdown of the Decolonization Settlements
5. Anatomy of State Crisis
6 Democratization and Its Limits
 
Part III Themes and Conclusions
7 Morphology of Violent Civil Conflict
8 Africanism, Nationalism and Ethnicity: Th Ambiguous Triple Helix of Identity
9 The African Post-colonial State: Concluding Observations
 
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“ A work of scope and ambition, written with great clarity and flair. Each chapter is densely packed with historical detail and theoretical insight, as Young synthesizes multiple strands of scholarship into an easily digestible narrative.”—H-Net Reviews