Geographical area: Sub-Saharan Africa


This class aims to provide students with keys to understanding the contemporary political systems and societies of Sub Saharan countries. It focuses on power and politics in those African states and places emphasis on the dynamics of the democratic transition of the 1990s, the regimes that emerged from it, and the changes and realities of the post-colonial state. The objective of the class is to develop students’ understanding of the major contemporary problems facing the African continent, and their ability to frame those issues within political science debates, and therefore to master the analytical framework of the political sociology of Africa.

Recommended Prerequisite(s)

This class is intended for students who wish to discover the various ‘Africas’ or to gain more in-depth knowledge and empirical experiences of this continent. It requires a basic knowledge of political sociology.


  • Blundo G. & Olivier De Sardan J.P. (dirs.), État et corruption en Afrique, Paris, Karthala, 2007.
  • Bourmaud D., La politique en Afrique, Paris, Montchrestien Clefs, 1997.
  • Chrétien J.P. & Prunier G., Les ethnies ont une histoire, Paris, Karthala, 2003.
  • Gazibo M., Introduction à la politique africaine, Presses de l’université de Montréal, 2006.
  • Gazibo M. & Thiriot C. (dirs), Le politique en Afrique. État des débats et pistes de recherche, Paris, Karthala, 2009.

Educational formula

Each student is assigned a country in Sub-Saharan Africa.  S/he will have to follow current events in this country and will reinforce her/his understanding of the topics covered in class by applying them to the country s/he is studying. Each country is the object of "Country Notebook" outlining the history and issues of each country. These notebooks are passed on and enriched from one year to the next. The class is based on the active participation of students. For each of the themes covered, they must bring examples and illustrations from the country they are studying, thus contributing to exemplifying the themes studied and developing a comparative perspective on all the countries of the continent.

In brief

Year Fourth year

Teaching languageFrench

Teaching term Six-monthly

ECTS credits 3.0

Number of hours 18.0

Teaching activityLecture course

ValidationContinuous assessment

Mandatory teaching



Educational manager :
Thiriot Céline [+]