The African State: Reconsiderations

Abdi Ismail Samatar, Ahmed Ismail Samatar
Heinemann, 2002 - 286 ˹
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The African state is more essential than ever for the sustainability of the long march towards political, economic, and cultural development. This volume captures the diversity of African states and leadership by examining eight states from northern, western, eastern, and southern Africa. Contributing African scholars transcend current thinking on the nature of the state and its role in transforming the fortunes of the continent. They establish a conceptual framework that allows for a complex but concrete and integrated analysis of the African state. Leader, regime, administration, and commonwealth provide the four key factors for identification of state types in Africa. Different combinations of these factors produce various types of states ranging from Botswana's relatively integral political system to the "cadaverous" Somali state.

States examined in this collection include:

  • Botswana
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Libya
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Sudan
All of the book's contributors have done substantial scholarly works on their respective countries. Their essays provide practical means of assessing reform programs intended to enhance state effectiveness. This book will be of great value not only to scholars, but also to policy makers and others concerned with the construction of a positive future for the African continent.

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ABDI ISMAIL SAMATAR is Professor of Geography at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of An African Miracle published by Heinemann that was a finalist for the 2000 Herskovits award.AHMED I. SAMATAR is James Wallace Professor and Dean of International Studies at Macalaster College in Minnesota. He has written extensively on African politics and Somalia.