African Politics

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
19 May 2022


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA L212 Global Politics,
BA L213 Global Politics (including Placement Year),
BA L214 Global Politics (including Year Abroad)

Module description

The module is organized around key concepts and categories from mainstream comparative politics, and comparative methods will be used throughout to analyse the main issues. Yet the course will also demonstrate the continuing relevance of the historical, political and cultural specificities of African politics.

The module will focus on various issues in African politics, such as colonialism , independence, authoritarian breakdown, democratization, corruption, human rights and democratic consolidation.

Module aims

The course aims to introduce students to the main features of contemporary African politics. By building on a comparative approach, this course serves as an introduction for those who are unfamiliar with the history, politics and societies of the region.
The course will challenge students to analyse complex problems in African politics and encourage them to provide informed arguments on these matters.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:
• Think critically about the political reality in countries of Sub-Saharan Africa within a broad historical & comparative perspective;
• Develop a more comprehensive understanding and familiarity with the main theoretical and empirical contributions of comparative politics to the study of Sub-Saharan Africa;
• Identify the key issues in the contemporary democratic politics of Sub-Saharan Africa, and apply the methods of comparative politics to clarify and analyse them;
• Identify the political, historical and socio-economic roots of the governability issues affecting countries of the region at the beginning of the 21st century;
• Write and orally communicate clear and well-researched observation about the substantive questions raised in the course

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be taught over 2 hours per week


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Final Essay    40% 
Practical   Quiz    30% 
Practical   Presentation    30% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Florian Kern, email: fkern@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Florian Kern
Module Supervisor: Dr Florian Kern - fkern@essex.ac.uk / Module Administrator: Jasini Hobbs - govquery@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Stefano Pagliari
City, University of London
Senior Lecturer in International Politics
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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