This book reviews fifty years of research on politics in Africa. It synthesizes insights from different scholarly approaches and offers an original interpretation of the knowledge accumulated over the years. It discusses how research on African politics relates the study of politics in other regions and mainstream theories in Comparative Politics. It focuses on such key issues as the legacy of a movement approach to political change, the nature of the state, the economy of a location, the policy deficit, the agrarian question, gender and politics and ethnicity and conflict.
Acknowledgements; 1. The study of politics in Africa; 2. The movement legacy; 3. The problematic state; 4. The economy of affection; 5. Big man rule; 6. The policy factor; 7. The agrarian question; 8. Gender and politics; 9. Ethnicity and conflict; 10. The external dimension; 11. So what do we know?; 12. Quo vadis Africa?; References; Index.
"A most useful book that could be assigned for both graduate and undergraduate courses on African politics. Highly recommended."
"...In this synthetic work pulling together decades worth of scholarship, especially in his discipline of political science, Hyden puts forth his best efforts....Policymakers and journalists who find themselves dropped into Africa without any particular training should place this book on their shelves after reading it closely so that they can refer to it often."
-Derek Catsam, Ph.D., Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa
"This is a well-developed assessment of important themes in the study of African politics. With one very bold step, Hyden systematically integrates important aspects of the literature on African politics and society into the historically and theoretically rich Eurocentric tradition of state and society, which dominated the field of comparative politics in earlier decades."
-Connie Anthony, Seattle University, African Studies Review
"African Politics in Comparative Perspective avoids the sort of confusing litany of superficial references to cases found in many texts on African politics."
Canadian Journal of Political Science, Amy R. Poteete, Concordia University