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Understanding Black Africa: Data and Analysis

Understanding Black Africa: Data and Analysis
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This book is a comparative handbook for students of Africa. It contains a selection of several hundred social, economic and political aspects of comparative data on independent Black African countries and states, along with interpretive essays, maps, and bibliography.

The Book is divided into five parts: (I) Introductory overview of social change and nation-building; (II) Introduction to cross-national analysis; (III) Comparative data profiles; (IV) Introduction to case-study methods; and (V) Country profiles. We also present appendices on other general sources of information and a correlation matrix for the data in Part III. Besides these sections we have interspersed throughout the text a considerable number of maps to illustrate both contemporary and historical phenomena which will hopefully aid the reader’s appreciation of Africa.

The first section, Part I, is intended to give a brief overview of contemporary Africa, the historical developments leading up to the present time, and a review of the conceptual framework around which the book is organized. This is not intended as a substitute for the book-length works that cover various aspects of these areas, but as a brief summary of such works. We present various maps in this section to illustrate historical events and trends that are discussed. However; we eschew footnotes and detailed sources, leaving the bibliographic detail to Parts III and V. This essay could profitably be read by any user of the book.

Part II is an introduction to the use of simple quantitative cross-national research techniques. Careful reading of this essay will prepare the reader to use the comparative data profiles in Part III to test ideas the reader may have about how the variables relate to each other (hypothesis testing). For example, are Muslim countries more developed than non-Muslim countries; does a rapid increase in education promote political instability? The cross-national methodology is briefly described and illustrated through a summary and critique of S.E. Finer’s study of one-party regimes in Africa. The second section of the essay addresses itself directly to the reader who wishes to test a hypothesis using the data presented in this book. It suggests sources of hypotheses and outlines the steps that are followed in such a study. For a number of readers, Part II will be the most demanding (and perhaps the most rewarding) section of the book and might be deferred until the reader has familiarized himself or herself with the remaining sections.

Part III, Comparative Data profiles, contains overviews, bibliographies, and data on various substantive topics relevant to social change and nation-building. This section is divided into an introduction to the section and nine chapters. The chapters cover: (1) land and population; (2) language; (3) education; (4) urbanization; (5) communication; (6) religion; (7) political development and the military; (8) economic development; and (9) foreign relations. Each of these chapters has a common format. First, we present an overview of the subject (e.g., economic development) both conceptual and empirical for Africa. This is only a brief introduction. Second, a bibliographic essay sets out the various works on the subject which the reader should consult. This is a key aspect of the section both for an increased understanding of Africa and to familiarize one with the relevant concepts and issues. While these bibliographic essays try to present the most important works, we generally do not report country studies unless they are outstanding examples. Such references can be found in the bibliographies of a later section of the book, Part V.

The third section of each chapter in Part III is a presentation of selected variables appropriate to the chapter. Each variable is presented for forty-one countries (or fewer, if. data is not available on them all), and definitions, sources, and a short discussion of the data are added. In some of the tables we provide a variable or measure for different time periods (e.g., 1966 and 1971) so that changes can be observed over time as well as differences across countries. Some users will analyze this data in the format of procedures described in Part II, but others will only be interested in a particular country’s value or will use them in a manner discussed in Part IV to choose appropriate case studies. It is hoped that this section will stimulate the appreciation of the changes going on in Black Africa as well as provide insights into the effects of different approaches to nation-building and mechanisms of social change.

In Part IV’s essay we describe another approach to the study of social change and nation-building, the case study. Case studies of one type or another are the most common type of study undertaken by students for term papers as well as by scholars who write. books and articles on Africa. In this essay we present a brief review of the various types of case studies, including their advantages and disadvantages and some of the procedures and examples of doing each type. It is important to emphasize that the most satisfactory types of case study involve comparisons. Therefore, the methodological considerations presented in the essay on cross-national research in Part II are an indispensable background to the case study research strategy. Readers who have some experience in doing research may wish to skip this chapter.

The last part of the book, Part V, provides selected information on each of the countries reviewed in this book. There are four headings under which data is presented. Some of the data which had already appeared in an aggregate form in Part III is presented here in detailed form. More detailed information is available in the second edition of Black Africa. The four headings are:

I. Basic Information (size, population, exports, etc.)
II. Elite Political Instability Patterns
III. Country Features Worthy of Special Study
IV. Selected Bibliography

Table of Contents
List of Tables and Figures
Part I An Introduction to Social Change and Nation-Building in Black Africa
Part II Cross-National Research: An Introduction to a Methodology
Part III Comparative Data Profiles
A Background Setting
1 Land and Population
2 Languages
B Social Change
3 Education
4 Urbanization
5 Communications and Transport
6 Religion
C Political and Economic Development
7 Political Development/Military
8 Economic Development
9 Foreign Relations
Part IV Case Studies: An Introduction to a Methodology
Part V Country Profiles
1 Angola
2 Benin
3 Botswana
4 Burundi
5 Cameroon
6 Central African Republic
7 Chad
8 Congo
9 Djibouti
10 Equatorial Guinea
11 Ethiopia
12 Gabon
13 Gambia
14 Ghana
15 Guinea
16 Guinea-Bissau
17 Ivory Coast
18 Kenya
19 Lesotho
20 Liberia
21 Madagascar
22 Malawi
23 Mali
24 Mauritania
25 Mozambique
26 Namibia
27 Niger
28 Nigeria
29 Rwanda
30 Senegal
31 Sierra Leone
32 Somalia
33 Sudan
34 Swaziland
35 Tanzania
36 Togo
37 Uganda
38 Burkina Faso (upper Volta)
39 Zaire
40 Zambia
41 Zimbabwe
Appendix 1 Data Sources on Africa
Appendix 2 Correlation Matrix
Appendix 3 References to Methods and Statistics Books
Appendix 4 List of journals and Handbooks on Africa

DONALD GEORGE MORRISON holds a joint appointment in the Harvard University Office of Information Technology and the Boston University African Studies Center. He has held faculty appointments at M.I.T., Northwestern University and York University, Canada, where he was Director of the Methods & Analysis Section, Institute of Behavioural Research. He was also Director of the Center for Social Science Computation Research at the University of Washington
and was Director of the Computing Center at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from M.I.T.

ROBERT CAMERON MITCHELL is Senior Staff Sociologist at Resources for the Future. He has held faculty positions at Northwestern University and Swarthmore College. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University.

JOHN NABER PADEN is Clarence J. Robinson Professor of International Studies at George Mason University. He was previously Director of the
Program of African Studies and Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University.

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