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In Africa Since Independence, Paul Nugent traces the trajectories of sub-Saharan African states from their post World War II anti-colonial movements, a time of hope and optimism, through the early twenty-first century, when many of them, with newly created quasi-democratic institutions, were recovering from state collapse and economic crisis. He offers no governing thesis; his talent lies in sensitively steering between the Scylla and Charybdis of every major debate that has put Africans and Africanists on opposing shores. This includes such concerns as the impact of nationalism on decolonization, the roles of chiefs versus politicians in the transition to independence, the socialist as against the capitalist path to development, whether military rule offered any improvement compared to discredited nationalist leaders, the impact of international financial institutions on African economic growth, the staying power of the current wave of democratization, and whether there are any remaining national foundations for reconstituting Africa’s states—a major agenda, by any measure.
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- Perry Anderson: Portugal and the End of Ultra-Colonialism- Part I
- Giovanni Arrighi: The African Crisis What triggered the descent into misery of so many Sub-Saharan societies in the past twenty years? The regional roots of Africa’s disorders, and the structural transformations in the world system led by the USA that have overshadowed them.
- Trevor Ngwane: Sparks in the Township South Africa as vanguard of post-colonial neoliberalism, and laboratory of its social consequences. From the townships around Johannesburg, rebellion against the privatizations of the anc regime, and the enrichment of a new political class.
- Perry Anderson: Portugal and the End of Ultra-Colonialism (Part 2)
- David Murphy: An African Brecht An aesthetic of discrepancy—epic sweep, domestic naturalism, social satire, expressionist set-piece—marks the complex cinema of Ousmane Sembene. Themes of contestation and corruption played out in pre- and post-Independence Senegal.
- Colin Leys: Confronting the African Tragedy
- Perry Anderson: Portugal and the End of Ultra-Colonialism (Part 3)