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IR4516 The International Relations of Sub-Saharan Africa

SCOTCAT credits:30
Academic year(s):2017/8
SCQF Level 10
Planned timetable:10.00 am Tue

This module examines Sub-Saharan Africa's relations with and position in the global political economy. The module will aim to help understand the historical roots and contemporary impulses that help shape Africa's international relations. The module explores how Africa's nation-states and peoples interact with multilateral development banks, international institutions, aid organisations and other actors (including both "normal" external states and clandestine networks of accumulation). We will consider Africa's debt and its impact upon the continent's international relations, acknowledging that it is unsustainable but asking if total debt write-off is feasible or desirable. Why Africa's share in world trade is declining and the impact this has on the continent will also be discussed as will the role of trade restrictions and the WTO in shaping Africa's international relations. We will ask what is the logic of regional integration and can it work in Africa, whilst examining the stated goals of political unity and economic progress through the African Union. Is this just rhetoric or is there now hope for solid achievements on both political and economic fronts? We finish with an evaluation with the latest plan to put Africa on the global map: the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

Place in programme(s) and relationship to other modules


Optional for International Relations and BA (Intl Hons) International Relations

UG Pre-requisite(s):IR2005 and IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact:1 x 1-hour lecture (x 10 weeks), 1 x 1-hour tutorial (x 10 weeks), 2 consultation hours with Coordinator (x 12 weeks). 2 hours examination feedback in week 1 of following semester.
Total module hours:
  • Scheduled learning: 20
  • Guided independent study: 280

Assessment pattern

UG As defined by QAA:
  • Written examinations: 50%
  • Practical examinations: 0%
  • Coursework: 50%
UG As used by St Andrews:3-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%
UG Re-assessment:3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator:Prof I C Taylor
Module teaching staff:Prof I C Taylor