The Politics of Aid in Africa
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Undergraduate Studies
Department: Social Sciences
Course Number: NPOL 3242
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Politics
From so-called natural disasters such as drought and famine, to the perception of ‘failed states’ and corrupt dictators, Africa is consistently represented as a place in need of outside assistance. Yet many scholars have asked whether foreign aid practices have actually done more harm than good on the continent. The recent rise of non-Western relief and funding agencies (particularly from the Gulf States, India and China) has made the field of foreign aid in Africa more diverse and therefore more contentious. While development and humanitarian aid organizations are often assessed in the language of political science and international relations, this course asks how anthropological examinations of aid in Africa can offer valuable insight into the politics of foreign intervention in Africa. We will develop skills to critically assess the effects of international aid on the continent, asking what kinds of social realities are made possible, and which are possibly foreclosed, as a result of these aid practices.
Course Open to: Degree Students


Open to Undergraduate students.