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Big African States:Angola, DRC, Ethiopia, South Africa and Sudan
More by user: tshepo.neito
Created: 2nd Jul 2009
Modified: 2nd Jul 2009
Wits University Press

Big African States

Angola, DRC, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan



Western notions of statehood have tended to influence the analysis of the viability of states in Africa, particularly the view that larger states have the greater potential to sustain economic viability. Yet, against a background of much recent progress on the African continent in terms of economic development and improvements in governance, it is the larger African states which have persistently disappointed – both in terms of their own economic and political development and in terms of their ability to exert a positive influence on the region in which they are located. In this study of six African ‘big states’ specialists across a range of disciplines analyse both the country-specific factors which have led to all but one of these states being described as dysfunctional, as well as cross-cutting issues which affect all of the big states in Africa and which may have contributed to ‘dysfunctionality’.


The country-specific studies are combined with analyses of cross-cutting issues of leadership, rebellion, lootable commodities, and engagement with the international political and economic system. Finally, the conclusion considers some of the policy implications that emerge from the study.


Christopher Clapham is an associate of the Centre of African Studies, Cambridge University. Jeffrey Herbst is Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Miami University, Ohio. Greg Mills is Director of the Brenthurst Foundation


1 86814 425 9                         235x155mm, 296 pp                      June 2006                    

978 1 86814 425 9

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