After three years of dissertation research, writing, thinking, editing, re-editing, rethinking, writing, retooling, and revamping, the end is in sight. Still lots of work to do, but the pieces are finally starting to fall into place. A good time to relaunch the blog, albeit on a very occasional basis.
That said, I thought it might be useful or inciteful (that spelling is intended) to list what I consider to be the 10 most important monographs on African comparative politics published between 2000-2015. The list is subjective, but a good starting point for debate. Such a list reflects my own relationship with and thinking about the study of African politics, and other lists would surely look partly or substantially different. There are some obvious books in this list, and some not so obvious books which deserve wider consideration.
- Monographs (not edited collections, but can have more than one author)
- Publishing date 2000 or later
- In English
- Broadly comparative: not a (mostly) single country study (leaves out Posner's 2005 award winning book) or one that is broader than just Africa (Sangmpam 2007)
- Not mostly a textbook (which leaves out Hyden 2006/2013 and Englebert & Dunn 2013, both excellent works)
Order is purely chronological:
(1) Herbst, Jeffrey Ira. (2000) States and Power in Africa : Comparative Lessons in Authority and Control. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
(2) Abrahamsen, Rita. (2001) Disciplining Democracy : Development Discourse and Good Governance in Africa. New York: Zed Books.
(3) Van de Walle, Nicolas. (2001) African Economies and the Politics of Permanent Crisis, 1979-1999. Cambridge, U.K. New York: Cambridge University Press.
(4) Lindberg, Staffan I. (2006) Democracy and Elections in Africa. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
(5) Handley, Antoinette. (2008) Business and the State in Africa : Economic Policy-Making in the Neo-Liberal Era. Cambridge, UK ; New York: Cambridge University Press.
(6) Englebert, Pierre. (2009) Africa: Unity, Sovereignty, and Sorrow. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
(7) Young, Crawford. (2012) The Postcolonial State in Africa: Fifty Years of Independence, 1960-2010. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press.
(8) Jerven, Morten. (2014) Economic Growth and Measurement Reconsidered in Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia, 1965-1995. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
(9) Boone, Catherine. (2014) Property and Political Order in Africa: Land Rights and the Structure of Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press.
(10) Pella, John Anthony. (2015) Africa and the Expansion of International Society: Surrendering the Savannah. New York: Routledge.
Bates, Robert H. (2008) When Things Fell Apart : State Failure in Late-Century Africa. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Reno, William. (2011) Warfare in Independent Africa. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Pitcher, M. Anne. (2012) Party Politics and Economic Reform in Africa's Democracies. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Cheeseman, Nicholas. (2015) Democracy in Africa: Successes, Failures, and the Struggle for Political Reform. New Approaches to African History. New York: Cambridge University Press. [Haven't had a chance to read this yet!]