Politics and Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa - POLI9610

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 7 20 (10) Kuzi Zigomo checkmark-circle


This module explores topics and themes in post-colonial sub-Saharan African politics, with a particular focus on conflict and peacebuilding. We will look at colonial legacies, processes of state formation, and the nature and dynamics of political development at the national and local levels. We will also critically reflect on theories and concepts developed in the fields of comparative politics, peace and conflict research, and international relations and apply them to the study of Africa. In this module, we aim at offering solid foundations to the understanding of politics and conflict in Africa, which include colonial legacies, societal characteristics and economic challenges that shape the politics of sub-Saharan African states until today.


Contact hours

Private Study: 178
Contact Hours: 22
Total: 200


Optional to the following courses:
This module is available to all students on MA programmes within the School of Politics and International Relations.

It is also available as an elective module.

Method of assessment

Essay 1, 3,000 words (40%)
Essay 2, 3,000 words (60%)

Reassessment methods: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.

The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate critical understanding of key theoretical debates over processes of political and social change in contemporary sub-Saharan Africa
2 Show a comprehensive understanding of the key concepts through which to analyse the main political dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa
3 Critically understand the roles of different actors within key political, economic and social power structures within sub-Saharan African states
4 Show an advanced understanding of trends in democratisation and authoritarian rule in post-colonial sub-Saharan African regimes
5 Critically assess the factors that drive political instability and conflict within and across sub-Saharan African states.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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