IAS 3662 - Experts, Administrators, And Soldiers: Governance And Development In Post-Colonial Africa
Between 1957 and 1975, one African territory after another made the transition from European colony to independent nation state. Widespread optimism that these "transfers of power" would bring a new era of prosperity and dignity dissipated quickly as the new nations struggled with political instability, military coups, social unrest, and persistent poverty. Consequently many western observers and development specialists are certain that they have become "failed states" requiring foreign assistance to develop properly. This course challenges these assumptions by tracing the origins of African governance and economic development from their imperial origins into the independence era. By exploring nation-building, economic planning, and public administration from the perspective of political elites, foreign experts, and ordinary people the class takes an intimate look at how colonies became nation states. These new perspectives offer students a historical grounding in international public administration and development by exploring how imperial ideas and concepts continue to influence contemporary social planning and development policy in both Africa and the wider world.