Global Geopolitical Power and African Political and Economic Institutions

Global Geopolitical Power and African Political and Economic Institutions : When Elephants Fight

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Global Geopolitical Power and African Political and Economic Institutions describes the emergence of the prevailing political and economic institutions of Africa for two distinct periods. It illustrates how two important, region-wide shifts in African political and economic institutions and practices are related to global geopolitical realignments.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 394 pages
  • 159 x 237 x 33mm | 730g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 18 Graphs; 5 Tables, unspecified
  • 0739196448
  • 9780739196441

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Geopolitics, International Relations, and sub-Saharan Africa Chapter 2: The First International Geopolitical Shift: African Decolonization in International and Regional Contexts Chapter 3: The Consolidation of Political Power in Africa: The Rise of One- and No-party States Chapter 4: The Consolidation of Economic Power in Africa: Inward-Oriented Development and Majority State Ownership Chapter 5: The Second Geopolitical Shift: African Political and Economic Reforms in International and Regional Contexts Chapter 6: The Partial Decentralization of Political Power in Africa: Limited Multiparty Competition and Rising Civil Society Chapter 7: The Partial Fragmentation of Economic Power in Africa: The Liberalization of Economic Policies and Partial Privatization Chapter 8: Prior Majority State Ownership, Geopolitical Shifts, and Later Political Liberalization in Africa: A Statistical Analysis Chapter 9: Conclusions: When Elephants Fight
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Review quote

This well-documented, thought-provoking book represents an excellent synthesis of trends in African politics and economics since the era of independence to the present. Quinn links changes in sub-Saharan states to global shifts, notably the post-WW II rush of decolonization and post-Cold War moves toward greater liberalization. The first period ranged from Ghana's 1957 independence to the post-1965 wave of military coups. During this period, international power shifted from multipolarity, in which France and Great Britain were major players, to US-USSR bipolarity. The second period started around 1989 and continued to about 1996, with American global preeminence, the partial decay of single party-dominant systems, and the facade of competitive elections in Africa. Quinn's greatest contribution comes through integrating historical events with changed economic theories and centers of power. He demonstrates statistical links between higher levels of civil and political rights and state ownership of non-oil and non-mineral industries. Quinn concludes that since the Cold War, the "outward appearance" of African political and economic institutions shifted somewhat. Reforms were carried out largely to satisfy donors. To institutionalize "real" democratic competition, however, repeated competitive elections with established procedures are essential. Africa's "new road ... seems to be one of emerging capitalism with weakly institutionalized electoral regimes, with usually one dominant political party." Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students and faculty. CHOICE When Elephants Fight is a lengthy explanation of how African politicians and elected leaders have dealt with an imposed hierarchical relationship even as their citizen constituents have developed new and greater social service expectations (e.g. modern schools, clinics, transportation) without delays or corruption and with greater independence from U.S. or World Bank demands via Structural Adjustment Programs which have increased the price of basic foodstuffs, petrol, and electricity. Students taking Quinn's course and charged with producing term or semester papers - or even a Master's thesis - and needing to understand these complex 'hierarchical relationships,' may find the scholarly language he relies upon to be a challenge, but they can benefit from the structure of the book: the sub-chapter headings; the extensive footnotes associated with each chapter; the 'Conclusions' associated with each chapter; and the long bibliography. Peace Corps Worldwide Scholars and students alike will benefit from Quinn's clearly written and clear-sighted analysis of the phases of African development from the colonial era to the present time. Unlike others, Quinn demonstrates the many and varied interactions between changes in the international arena and the transformations that have taken place in Africa's domestic political arrangements and the economic policies of African governments. -- Michael Lofchie, UCLA Global Geopolitical Power and African Economic and Political Institutions is a major work of scholarship. Quinn provides an authoritative treatment of how the political economy of Sub-Saharan Africa responded to the massive shifts represented by World War II and the end of the Cold War. The range of issues explored in this lucid exposition is comprehensive, notably in relation to changes in political systems and economic policies. Quinn's forward-looking treatment also offers stimulating ideas about how Africa will evolve as a whole in the context of the War on Terror, the rise of China, and other significant contemporary developments. This book is essential reading for those with general interests in Africa, along with readers looking for a compelling analysis of the politics and economics of that region. -- Patrick James, University of Southern California
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About John James Quinn

John James Quinn is professor of political science at Truman State University.
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