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OCAF 2160 - Africa's International Relations

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This class is to provide students with an intensive introduction to Africa's rapidly changing international relations, its structures, processes and actors. At the end of the course, students will have a broad knowledge of key themes relating to Africa's international relations. They will also be equipped with conceptual and analytical tools to study Africa's external relations and their interplay with domestic politics. While we will pay attention to the historical background of Africa's place in the world, emphasis will be placed on the post-Cold War period. The central aim of the course is to critically reconsider widespread assumptions about Africa's supposed marginality in global politics and its relations of dependency towards the rest of the world. The class will focus on empirical, practical real-world issues. We will examine patterns of continuity and change by studying major themes and debates such as evolving notions of sovereignty, relations with old (France, the US, the EU etc.) and new emerging partners (China, Turkey etc.), regional and continental integration and the recently more assertive role that Africa seeks to play in global affairs. We will use case studies and key debates, including the International Criminal Court, the political economy of aid, peace and security etc., to reflect on broader trends as they reshape Africa's external relations.


TULL, Denis (Chercheur)

Course validation

1. Class attendance/participation/assignments (20%): students are expected attend each class, to actively participate in discussions and to have read the weekly assignments. Unless indicated otherwise, students are required to read at least one (1) of the texts assigned for each session. 2. Press Review/Short Essay (10%): Depending on the number of participants, each student will once either present a short press review on a current issue of their choice or write a short essay (max. 1.300 words) on a topic that will be agreed in advance with the instructor. 3. Class Presentation (20%): Each student will be required to make a class presentation of 10 minutes, either individually or as part of a group presentation (plus hand-out). The topics to be presented will be assigned during the first class. Student presentations will start from the second class. 4. A term paper (50%). Students have the choice between writing on the subject of their oral presentation (see 3.), or proposing a new research question/topic that has to be agreed upon in advance with the instructor. The paper should have about 4.500-word term paper (+/- 10%).


Students are expected to have read at least one reading assignment before class and to be able to actively participate in discussions (2-3h).

Required reading

  • Clapham, Christopher. 1996. Africa and the International System: The Politics of State Survival. Cambridge University Press
  • Bischoff, Paul-Henri, Kwesi Aning, and Amitav Acharya. 2016. Africa in Global International Relations: Emerging Approaches to Theory and Practice. Routledge
  • African Affairs Virtual Issue: Africa's International Relations (Sovereignty, Extraversion, and China).
  • Harman, Sophie, and William Brown. 2013. ‘In from the Margins? The Changing Place of Africa in International Relations'. International Affairs 89(1): 69–87
  • Ellis, Stephen. 2012. Season of Rains: Africa in the World. University of Chicago Press