When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics)

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9780521715256: When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics)

In the later decades of the 20th century, Africa plunged into political chaos. States failed, governments became predators, and citizens took up arms. In When Things Fell Apart, Robert H. Bates advances an explanation of state failure in Africa. In so doing, he not only plumbs the depths of the continent's late-century tragedy, but also the logic of political order and the foundations of the state. This book covers a wide range of territory by drawing on materials from Rwanda, Sudan, Liberia, and Congo. Written to be accessible to the general reader, it is nonetheless a must-read for scholars and policy makers concerned with political conflict and state failure.

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Book Description:

In When Things Fell Apart, Robert H. Bates addresses the origins of state failure in Africa in the late decades of the twentieth century. Bates plumbs the depths of the continent's late-century tragedy, the logic of political order, and the foundations of the state for explanations for these tragedies.

About the Author:

Robert H. Bates undertook graduate studies of anthropology at Manchester University and economics at Stanford. Joining the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences at the California Institute of Technology, he rose to full professor before leaving for the Luce Professorship at Duke in the early 1980s. He joined the faculty at Harvard in 1993. Bates has conducted field work in Zambia, Kenya, Ghana and the Sudan and traveled throughout much of West Africa as well. He has also conducted fieldwork in Colombia and Brazil, where he conducted research on the politics and economics of the international coffee industry. A consultant for the World Bank and USAID, Bates is also a member of the State Failure Task Force. He serves as a resource person for the Africa Economic Research Consortium and has for several years held a visiting professorship on the faculty of the economics department at Toulouse University.

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