African history and institutions

A.Y. 2020/2021
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
SPS/13
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
Land is the main resource in Africa, granting labor to the 70% of the labor force that between formal and informal employment generates, however, the 30% of the continent's GDP. It is clear from this picture that Africa cannot feed itself. The continent lives on exports of raw materials, food imports and aid. Malnutrition remains a major concern even today, despite levels of economic growth, also due to the resurgence of climate change, which significantly reduces access to food, especially in rural areas. The consequences on human and economic capital are such as to reduce the rate of growth of p.c. GDP between 0.16% and 4%. Despite this context, Africa's great potential to alleviate growing global food insecurity is widely recognized: extensive land grabbing operations are therefore under way, with their corollary of financial speculation and the complacency of "developmentalist" elites.
This course examines the saga of sub-Saharan Africa, from the impact of colonial exploitation on pre-existing political, economic and social structures to the extraordinary goal of the African Free Trade Area. Space will be given to the regional dynamics and international trends that, although apparently pushing for an emergence of Africa as an economic protagonist, seem to act following a globally anarchist trend. Although converging towards an involution of poverty, the weakening of the labor supply has extreme consequences in the sub-Saharan Africa, terribly vulnerable though complex and reactive in different measure. A monographic unit will be devoted to the resources policies (land, in particular) in Southern Africa, to stress both continental and global differences and similarities.
Expected learning outcomes
Students should achieve an understanding of the impact caused by the Colonial course, on different African peoples with their own social, cultural and political structures in past environments. They are expected to demonstrate a certain measure of ability to recognize and articulate the diversity of human experience, including ethnicity, race, language and/or gender, articulating them in the tensions between different socio-political and economic models, by producing their own historical analyses. They should be able to range from the colonial exploitation to the bureaucratic patrimonialism of the independent states, to the competition for control, management and redistribution of the natural resources along with the global trends in Africa, and in sub-Saharan Africa in particular, on behalf of the developmental state. Such a capacity to think critically and historically when discussing the cultural conflicts and institutional stratification in the past, and their consequences in the present, has to be expected in students in their third year in a political sciences course degree.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Third trimester
Unità didattica 1
SPS/13 - AFRICAN HISTORY AND INSTITUTIONS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unità didattica 2
SPS/13 - AFRICAN HISTORY AND INSTITUTIONS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unità didattica 3
SPS/13 - AFRICAN HISTORY AND INSTITUTIONS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor(s)
Reception:
Ask for a Skype/MsTeams appointment writing to cristiana.fiamingo@unimi.it
Ist floor, room 10, via Conservatorio 7