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OGLM 2035 - African Metropolis

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

Large metropolises in Africa are often considered as chaotic cities reduced to mere shanty towns at the periphery of the world economy. They have also been portrayed as privilege sites of contestation of authoritarian regimes or conversely as spaces in which inhabitants have learnt to deal without the state to get access to basic services in various ‘informal' ways. This course will address these central issues on the respective parts of external and African dynamics in making the cities of the continent. It will look at key issues and concepts used among academics and professionals to understand the ways cities in Africa are governed throughout the continent. It will interrogate what is supposed to be the major features of urban Africa (colonial and apartheid legacies, weaknesses of local government structures, widespread poverty, prevalence of informality and violence).


FOURCHARD, Laurent (Researcher - Sciences Po)

Pedagogical format

12 sessions of 2 hours.

Course validation

Students will be evaluated on one review essay and presentation in class (40%), participation (10%) and one final paper (50%).


Students are required to complete weekly required reading assignments prior to class and discussed them in class. Each student has to write a 1000-word review essay from the required reading list of one session. This summary is presented during the course. Each student has to write a 4000 word final paper.

Required reading

  • David Anderson and David Rathbone (eds.), Africa's Urban Past, Oxford, Jame Currey, 2000
  • Simon Bekker and Laurent Fourchard (eds.) Governing Africa's Cities: Politics and Policies, Pretoria, HRSC Press, 2013
  • Garth Myers, African Cities. Alternative visions of Urban Theory and Practice, Zed Books. London. New York. 2011
  • Jennifer Robinson, Ordinary Cities. Between Modernity and Development, London, Routledge, 2006
  • Abdou Maliq Simone, For the City Yet to Come. Changing African Life in Four Cities, Durham and London, Duke University Press, 2004