University of California, Los Angeles
Political Science 151B
Political Economy of Africa
Quarter, 2008
Mr. Lofchie
Andrew Demirchyan
Sylvia Yu
Argus Sun



Coffee Trees


WELCOME TO POLITICAL SCIENCE 151B, POLITICAL ECONOMY OF AFRICA! The purpose of this class is to introduce students to significant issues having to do with the political economy of modern Africa. No previous coursework in African studies or political economy is presumed or required though an interest in the economic problems of developing areas may be useful. I hope that you will find this class informative and enjoyable. PS 151B is open to both graduate and upper division students.

This course will have two parts that are fairly different. During the first 5 weeks of the term, we will cover economic ideas that pertain to Africa's economic development. Although the content of this material will be economic in nature, it  will not require quantitative skills. During the second five weeks of the class (following the mid-term exam), we will apply these economic principles to selected African countries.

Two African countries will be given special emphasis; Tanzania and Kenya. The reason is that these countries have exemplified strikingly different approaches to economic development. As a result, they have had very different degrees of economic success and their political trajectories have been correspondingly different. Since the mid 1980s, these countries have been attempting to achieve political and economic liberalization. Thus, their experiences may help us to understand numerous other developing countries.

Course Requirements

Political Science 151B will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 10-11:50 in Broad 2160E. There will be a mid-term and a final examination in the class. The mid-term examination is provisionally scheduled for Wednesday, April 30th, from 10 to 11 am. The final examination will be held on Wednesday, June 11th, from 3-6 pm.



Office Hours

Mr. Lofchie's office is located in the Bunche Hall, Room # 4289A, and regular office hours will be held on Tuesdays from 1-3. Students are urged to take advantage of these office hours in order to resolve any questions or uncertainties they may have about the class. Students who are unable to attend these office hours are urged to make special appointments. These can be arranged directly with Mr. Lofchie during class, or by phoning his office, 310-206-5581. The best method, however, is to send an e-mail message to

Mr. Demirchyan's office hours will be Tuesdays from 11-1 in Bunche Hall 3288. For special appointments or questions, you may contact him by e-mail,

Ms. Yu's office hours will be Mondays, 1-3, in Bunche Hall 3368. Her e-mail address is sylvia.yu@UCLA.EDU

Mr. Sun's office hours are Wednesday, 1-3 in Bunche 3288. His e-mail address is


Class Readings

All of the readings for this class are available on-line and the readings for each week are so indicated in the syllabus. The readings can be printed out, if you so choose, at the printer kiosks at Social Sciences Computing, which is on the second floor of the Public Policy Building.


Reading Assignments

Part I. Introduction to African Political Economy

Week 1. [Week of March 31st.]

Underdevelopment in Africa: Geographical, Historical and Other Causes

Required Reading.
David E. Bloom and Jeffrey D. Sachs, Geography, Demography and Economic Growth in Africa (1999).

To read this article, click here.

Suggested Reading.

Nathan Nunn, "Slavery, Institutional Development, and Long-Run Growth in Africa, 1400-2000."

To read this article, click here.

John Luke Gallup and Jeffrey D. Sachs, Geography and Economic Development (Annual World Bank Conference on Economic Development, 1998).

To read this article, click here.

Weeks 2 and 3. [Weeks of April 7th and April 14th.]

What Did Africa do Wrong? Inappropriate Development Policy.

Required Reading.

The World Bank, Accelerated Development in Sub-Saharan Africa (1981), pp. 1-69.

To read this article, click here.

Week 4. [Week of April 21.]

Origins of Inappropriate Policy: Why Did Africa Adopt Inappropriate Policies?

Urban Bias in Development Policy.

Required Reading.

Robert H. Bates, Markets and States in Tropical Africa (1981), pp. 1-132.

Suggested Reading

The Ethnic Factor in African Development.

William Easterly and Ross Levine, Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions (1997).

To read this article, click here.

Paul Collier and Jan Willem Gunning, "Why Has Africa Grown Slowly?"

To read this article, click here.

Week 5. [Week of April 28th.]

What Steps Have Been Taken to Correct Mistakes?

Required Reading.

The World Bank, Adjustment in Africa: Reforms, Results and the Road Ahead (1994), pp. 1-39.

To read this article, click here.

PLEASE NOTE. The mid-term examination is provisionally scheduled for Wednesday, April 30th from 10-11 am. Students should leave ample time to complete the required readings and to review both lecture and reading notes as preparation for the examination.



Part II. The Political Economy of Tanzania and Kenya.


Week 6. [Week of May 5th.]
The Political Economy of Decline: Tanzania

Required Reading

Michael F. Lofchie, "Tanzania's Agricultural Decline", from N. Chazan and T. Shaw, Coping With Africa's Food Crisis (1988).

To read this article, click here.

Week 7,  [Week of May 12th.]
Economic Reforms in Tanzania.

Required Reading.

Brian Van Arkadie, Economic Strategy and Structural Adjustment in Tanzania (The World Bank,  Private Sector Development Department, October 1995).

To read this article, click here.

Brian Cooksey, "Marketing Reform? The Rise and Fall of Agricultural Liberalization in Tanzania." (Development Policy Review, 2003).

To read this article, click here.

Week 8. [Week of May 19th.]

Please complete all readings on Tanzania.

Week 9. [Week of May 26th.] Why Was Kenya An  Exceptional Case in Africa?

Required Reading.

Michael Lofchie, "Trading Places: Economic Policy in Kenya and Tanzania." Chapter 11 of T. Callaghy and J. Ravenhill, Hemmed In: Responses to Africa's Economic Decline (1993).

To read this article, click here

Week 10 [Week of March 13th.] What is the Problem with Kenya?

Required Reading

Joel Barkan, Judith Geist and Njuguna Ng'ethe, Kenya in Transition, pp. 1-35. (2003).

To read this article, click here.

Joel Barkan, "Hearing on the Immediate and Underlying Causes of Flawed Democracy in Kenya."

To read Barkan's testimony to Congress, click here.

Suggested Readings

York Bradshaw, "Perpetuating Underdevelopment in Kenya: The Link between Agriculture, Class and State." (African Studies Review, Vol. 33, No. 1, Apr. 1990.)

To read this article, click here.

Joel D. Barkan, "Kenya After Moi" (2003).

To read this article, click here.

F. S. O'Brien and Terry C. I. Ryan, Kenya, especially pp. 483-515.

To read this article click here.

John Githongo, Report on Corruption in Kenya, 2005.

To read this article click here.

Reminder. The final examination will be held on Wednesday, June 11th, from 3-6 pm.