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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Reading List

Africa and International Development takes a multidisciplinary approach and our readings reflects this, with topics from theories on development, history of poverty and underdevelopment in Africa, to African politics, etc. The Edinburgh University Library is incredibly well-stocked, and also holds a rich variety of relevant electronic journals. The list below gives you a flavour of the kinds of readings that we suggest in preparation of the course:

  • Ake C., Development and Democracy in Africa, Brookings Institution, 1996
  • Rist, G., The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith, Zed Books, 2008
  • Sen A.K., Development As Freedom, Knopf, Harvard, 1999
  • Collier P. The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It, Oxford University Press, 2008
  • Kothari U. (eds), A Radical History of Development Studies: Individuals, Institutions and Ideologies, Zed Books, 2005.
  • Easterly W., The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill And So Little Good, Penguin Group, 2007
  • Ferguson J., The Anti-politics Machine, Routledge, 1994
  • Nugent, P. Africa since Independence, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004 and later edition
  • Abrahamsen, R. Disciplining Democracy. Development Discourse and Good Governance in Africa, 2000
  • L. Whitfield The Politics of Aid. African Strategies for Dealing with Donors, Oxford University Press, 2007
  • Lewis D. & Mosse D. (eds) The Aid Effect. Ethnographies of Development and Neo-lib, MacMillan, 2005
  • Rajak, Dinah. In Good Company: An Anatomy of Corporate Social Responsibility, Stanford University Press, 2011
  • Shipton, Parker Farmers, Financiers and Misunderstanding in Africa, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2010
  • Mawdsley, E. From recipients to donors: Emerging powers and the changing development landscape. London and New York: Zed Books, 2012

  • Carmody, P. The rise of the Brics in Africa: The Geopolitics of South-South Relations. London: Zed Books, 2013.


  • Kapuscinski Ryszard, The Shadow of the Sun: My African Life, Penguin Books, 1998
  • D’Souza Tony, Whiteman, Harvest Books, 2006
  • Achebe C.  Things Fall Apart, Anchor Books, 1994 (several editions)
  • Zakes Mda, The Heart of Redness

If  you are going to join us in September, please do a few readings from the list above. In particular Rist (2008); Collier (2008); Easterli (2007); Sen (1999) and Nugent (2004) form a good pre-session list of sources that will be relevant for your studies in Edinburgh.