The aim of this course is to introduce students to major methods and theories for understanding politicsin sub-Saharan Africa. Becauseit would be impossible to adequately analyze all forty-six states that currently constitute the region,our focus will be on broad frameworks and analytical approaches. Given the importance of colonialism’s legacy in manyexplanations for Africa’s political phenomena, we will begin with some political history. Special attention will be paid to the political ideas of Africa’s independence leaders. We will go on tofocuson the major themes that have occupied scholarsin political science, including the resilience of the African state, democracy and authoritarianism, economic development and foreignaid, civil society, and warfare and ethnic conflict.