GOVT-582 Arabs in Africa: Conflict and State Formations in Africa
Fall for 2013-2014
The encounter between Arabs, Africans and colonialists on the African continent has a long history. This has over the years resulted in both sporadic and lasting conflicts. It has also seen the birth of nations with both a strong Arab identity, as well as Afro-Arab forms of coexistence.
The recent so-called “Arab Spring” in North African countries, the difficulties in establishing post-revolutionary states (in, for example, Egypt and Libya) the separation of Sudan and South Sudan and continuing tensions in the Horn of Africa suggests that Arab influences, African nationalisms and the involvement of the United States, Europe and China is likely to intensify in the years ahead.
The course is developed at the nexus between history and contemporary politics. As such, consideration in this course is given to the history of this encounter in specific countries, the influence on the Arab League and the African Union in the contemporary period, the involvement of the West and China in Africa, and the likely scenarios in the Afro-Arab countries regarding trade, resource allocations and political priorities in transitional situations.
In each case students will be required to consider transitional justice and conflict resolution resources to enable the countries under consideration to move towards transparent, democratic and peaceful resolutions of conflict.
The focus of the course will be on shared independent research. Invited to undertake a journey towards understanding the roots and contemporary manifestations of conflicts in certain African countries, students will be required to access their own reading and research material for each seminar. Students will especially be required to guide the class regarding appropriate readings for the seminars they are required to lead, as well as for their final group presentations. As such, the prescribed reading for each week, as reflected below, is brief and of an introductory nature only. The attached bibliography provides a broader range of background reading material.
Other academic years
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