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International Relations *

A guide to databases and scholarly online sources that support conducting research in international relations and comparative politics.

Country Handbooks


These handbooks provide background information about contemporary issues, events, or topics concerning countries throughout Africa regardless of the subject area. They are available either electronically and/or located on the book shelves in the Medicine Crow Center Library for International and Public Affairs.

Adeola, Romola and Makau Mutua, editors. The Palgrave Handbook of Democracy, Governance, and Justice in Africa. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022.
This work an emerging consensus that what is projected as democratic governance and justice in Africa requires a re-calibration, in particular, in relation to the constitutive demos, human rights, the realization of commitments at various governance levels, and the convergence between these ideations. Contributors critique the post-colonial narrative on democracy that reveals some crevices in rule of law, political equality, political participation, political culture, and freedom of the press, which are increasingly being negotiated across political spaces.

Agozino, Biko and Viviane Saleh-Hanna, editors. The Routledge Handbook on Africana Criminologies. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2021.
This Handbook defines and explores African criminology, moving away from the colonialist approach of offering administrative criminology about policing, courts and prisons, and making a case for decolonizing the wider discipline. Arranged in five parts, it outlines Africana Criminologies, maps its emergence and addresses key themes such as slavery, colonialism and apartheid as crimes against humanity; critiques of imperialist reason; Africana cultural criminology; and theories of law enforcement and Africana people. Coalescing a diverse range of voices from Africa and the diaspora, the handbook explores outside Eurocentric canons in order to learn from the experiences, struggles and contributions of people of African descent.

Bach, Jean-Nicolas, editor. Routledge Handbook of the Horn of Africa. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2022.
The book provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary survey of contemporary research related to the the region of Africa situated at the junction of the Sahel-Saharan strip and the Arabian Peninsula. Divided into sections on authoritarianism and resistance, religion and politics, migration, economic integration, the military, and regimes and liberation. Contributors investigate how political, economic, and security innovations have been implemented including “ethnic federalism” in Ethiopia, independence in Eritrea and South Sudan, integration of the traditional authorities in the (neo)patrimonial administrations, Somalian Islamic Courts, the Sudanese Islamist regime, people's movements, multilateral operations, and the construction of an architecture for regional peace and security.

Binns, Tony, Kenneth Lynch, and E. L. Nel, editors. The Routledge Handbook of African Development. London: Routledge, 2018.
This handbook presents an extensive overview of African past, present and future development by addressing core themes and topics that are pertinent to the continent’s development. The work provides a detailed analysis of the key opportunities and challenges related to history, health and food, politics, economics, rural and urban development, and development policy and practice that confront Africa, and how such issues are being addressed. It also provides not only a historical understanding of the past, but also political perspectives on the future, drawing upon the latest conceptual viewpoints and applied experiences in Africa in the form of case studies to offer a comprehensive examination of the opportunities, challenges, key debates, and future prospects.

Carvalho, Pedro Miguel, David Arase Raposo de Medeiros, and Scarlett Cornelissen. Routledge Handbook of Africa-Asia Relations. London: Routledge, 2018. [Medicine Crow Center Library Bookstacks DT 38.9 .A78 R68 2018]

The handbook aims at studying the interactions between countries across Africa and Asia in a multi-disciplinary and comprehensive way. Using comparative examples throughout, the chronological sections cover: Early colonialist contacts between Africa and Asia; Modern Asia-Africa interactions through diplomacy, political networks and societal connections; Africa-Asia contemporary relations, including increasing economic, security and environmental cooperation. This handbook grapples with major intellectual questions, defines current research, and projects future agendas of investigation in the field.

Charbonneau, Bruno and Maxime Ricard, editors. Routledge Handbook of African Peacebuilding. New York: Routledge, 2022.
This handbook surveys and analyses peace building as it operates in this specifically African context. The book begins by outlining the evolution and the various ideologies, conceptualizations, institutions, and practices of African peace building. It identifies critical differences in how African peace builders have conceptualized and operationalized peace building. The book then considers how different actors sustain, construct and use African infrastructure to identify and analyze converging, differing or competing mandates, approaches, and interests. Finally, it analyses specific thematic issues such as gender, justice, development, democracy, and the politics of knowledge, before ending with in-depth analyses of case studies drawn from across the continent.

Fombad, Charles Manga and N. C. Steytler, editors. Democracy, Elections, and Constitutionalism in Africa. Oxford, UK; Oxford University Press, 2021.
This volume examines democracy and elections in Africa in relation to democratic gains of the 1990s and 2000s followed by evidence mounting that regimes are concealing authoritarianism under the veneer of elections. The volume also focuses on multiparty democracy and the proper functioning of the state in addressing the major problems facing Africa, including internal conflict, inequality and lack of development, and poor governance and corruption. The book aims to show how competitive politics or multiparty democracy can be realized and how, through competition, such politics could lead to better policy and practice outcomes.

Haastrup, Toni, Luís Mah, and Niall Duggan, editors. The Routledge Handbook of EU-Africa Relations. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2021.
This handbook provides a comprehensive overview of the changing dynamics in the relationship between the African continent and the European Union. Structured into five parts, the handbook provides an incisive look at the past, present and potential futures of EU- Africa relations. The chapters cover themes like multilateralism, development assistance, institutions, gender equality, and science and technology among others. This book provides original reflections from a diversity of conceptual and theoretical perspectives, and experts in Africa, Europe and beyond, offering a comprehensive analyses of contemporary global politics as manifested in Africa and Europe.

Hinnebusch, Raymond A. and J. K. Gani, editors. The Routledge Handbook to the Middle East and North African State and States System. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2020.
Conflict and instability are built into the very fabric of the Middle East and North African (MENA) state and states system; yet both states and states system have displayed remarkable resilience. How can we explain this? This handbook explores the main debates, theoretical approaches and accumulated empirical research concerning how conflict and instability are built into the very fabric of the Middle East and North African state and states system. Contributions are grouped into four key themes: historical contexts, state-building and politics in MENA; state actors, societal context and popular activism; trans-state politics, the political economy, and identity contexts; and, the international politics of MENA. The chapters examine the evolution of the state and states system, before and after independence, and take the 2011 Arab uprisings as a pivotal moment that intensified trends already embedded in the system.

Leal Filho, Walter, et al. African Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2021.
This book discusses current research and presents the main issues and challenges associated with climate change in Africa. It introduces evidences from studies and projects which show how climate change adaptation is being successfully implemented in African countries. It contains papers prepared by scholars, representatives from social movements, practitioners, and members of governmental agencies, undertaking research and/or executing climate change projects in Africa, and working with communities across the African continent.

Lynch, Gabrielle, editor. Routledge Handbook of Democratization in Africa. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2020.
This volume explores the issues and debates surrounding the ongoing processes of democratization in sub-Saharan Africa, illuminating the central dynamics characterizing Africa's democratic experiments, and considering the connections between democratization and economic, social, and cultural developments on the continent. The book features more than thirty contributions structured into six thematic sections: The politics and paths of regime development Institutional dynamics Political mobilization and voting dynamics The politics of identity Social forces from below The consequences of democracy. Chapters offer overviews of the key scholarship on particular topics, including central insights from the latest research, and provide suggestions for those interested in further inquiry. The material includes attention to broad cross-continental patterns, for example with respect to public opinion, political violence, or the role of different institutions and actors. It also includes rich case material, drawing on and highlighting the experiences of a diverse collection of countries.

Makina, Daniel and Dominic Pasura. Routledge Handbook of Contemporary African Migration. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2023.
This book provides a multi-disciplinary overview of contemporary African international migration, covering issues such as migration history, trends, migrant profiles, narratives, migration-development nexus, migration governance, diasporas, impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, among others. Contributors address pertinent questions about contemporary migration patterns and trends, the architecture of migration governance in Africa and how migration, diaspora engagement and development play out in Africa, and what future trajectories of African migration may take place.

Ndulo, Muna and Cosmas Emeziem, editors. The Routledge Handbook of African Law. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2022.
This work provides a comprehensive, critical overview of the contemporary legal terrain in Africa. Contributors adopt an analytical and comparative approach to illustrate the nexus between different jurisdictions and different legal traditions across the continent. The volume is divided into five parts covering: Legal Pluralism and African Legal Systems, the State, Institutions, Constitutionalism, and Democratic Governance, Economic Development, Technology, Trade and Investment, Human Rights, Gender-Based Violence, and Access to Justice International Law, Institutions, and International Criminal Law. The book offers important insights into both the specific contexts of African legal systems and the ways in which these legal traditions intersect with the wider world.

Odimegwu, C. O. and Yemi Adewoyin, editors. The Routledge Handbook of African Demography. New York: Routledge, 2022.
This handbook provides a comprehensive overview of African population dynamics, variations, causes and consequences, demonstrating the real-world applications of research in policies and programs. The book draws on old and emerging analytical tools to explore the relationships between population dynamics and social, economic, cultural, and political environments from African perspectives. Key topics include fertility, sexual behaviours, healthcare, ageing, mortality, migration, displacement, the causes and consequences of demographic changes, and teaching and research developments in African demography.

Oloruntoba, Samuel O. and Toyin Falola, editors. The Palgrave Handbook of Africa and the Changing Global Order. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022.
This handbook fills a large gap in the current knowledge about the critical role of Africa in the changing global order. By connecting the past, present, and future in a continuum that shows the paradox of existence for over one billion people, the book underlines the centrality of the African continent to global knowledge production, the global economy, global security, and global creativity. Bringing together perspectives from top Africa scholars, it actively dispels myths of the continent as just a passive recipient of external influences, presenting instead an image of an active global agent that astutely projects soft power. The book offers an eclectic mix of historical, contemporary, and interdisciplinary approaches that allow for a more holistic view of the many aspects of Africa’s relations with the world.

Oloruntoba, Samuel Ojo and Falola, Toyin. The Palgrave Handbook of African Politics, Governance and Development. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
This handbook constitutes a single collection of articles and essays on African politics, governance, and development from the pre-colonial through colonial to the post-colonial eras. Over the course of these interconnected periods, African politics have evolved with varied experiences across different parts of the continent. This work provides in-depth engagement in the universe of scholarly debates around African politics, economics, demography, and its relations with the world.

Onyango, Gedion. Routledge Handbook of Public Policy in Africa. New York: Routledge, 2022.
This handbook provides an overview of African public policy and a comprehensive examination of the practicalities of policy analysis, policymaking processes, implementation and administration in Africa today. While mostly attentive to comparative public policy in Africa, this book attempts to address some of the following pertinent questions: How can public policy be understood and taught in Africa? How does policymaking occur in unstable political contexts, or in states under pressure? Has the democratization of governing systems improved policy processes in Africa? How have recent transformations, such as technological proliferation in Africa, impacted public policy processes? What are the underlying challenges and potential policy paths for Africa going forward?

Ozerdem, Alpaslan, et al, editors. Routledge Handbook of Conflict Response and Leadership in Africa. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2022.
This volume explores the challenges and opportunities for leadership and conflict response in the context of Africa at several levels. This handbook addresses the need to explore challenges and opportunities for leadership at several levels: macro (global/regional/national); 'meso' (NGOs, religious groups, academics); and 'micro' (civil society organizations, youth groups, women's organizations). Analysis from multiple levels provides a broader explanation of conflict dynamics and helps to fit localized conflict transformation approaches into wider national or regional structures. The essays encompass the psychological, political, and structural dimensions of conflict response, and demonstrate how its success is fundamentally linked to the style of effectiveness of leadership, among other factors.

Shanguhyia, Martin S. and Toyin. Falola, editors. The Palgrave Handbook of African Colonial and Postcolonial History. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
This work presents a wide-ranging appraisal of modern African history. Contributors are drawn from numerous fields in African studies, including art, music, literature, education, and anthropology, to address subjects ranging from the economy, the two world wars, nationalism, decolonization, and postcolonial politics to religion, development, sexuality, and the African youth experience. The themes illustrate the depth of modern African history and the diversity and originality of lenses available for examining it.

Tar, Usman A., editor. Routledge Handbook of Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency in Africa. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2021.
This book illuminates how Africa's defense and security environments have been radically altered by dramatic changes in world politics and local ramifications. The contributions highlight the transnational dimensions of counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency in Africa, and reveal the roles played by African states and regional organizations in the global war on terror. The wok also critically evaluates the emerging regional architectures of countering terrorism and insurgency and organized violence on the continent through the African Union Counter-Terrorism Framework and Regional Security Complexes. It examines the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency structures and mechanisms established by specific African states to contain, degrade, and eliminate terrorism, insurgency, and organized violence on the continent, particularly, the successes, constraints, and challenges of the emerging counter-terrorism mechanisms. Finally, the volume highlights the entry of non-state actors, such as civil society, volunteer groups, private security companies and defense contractors, into the theater of counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency in Africa through volunteerism, community support for state-led operations, and civil-military cooperation.

Villalón, Leonardo Alfonso, editor. The Oxford Handbook of the African Sahel. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2021.
This book provides a multidimensional and interdisciplinary assessment of the region, focusing on the six countries at the heart of the Sahelian geographic space: Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad. Collectively, the chapters explore the commonalities and interconnections that link these countries and their fates, while also underscoring their diversity and the variations in their current realities. The work reflects the environmental, political, demographic, and economic, as well as rapidly changing social and religious dynamics of the region and discusses how this region will adapt to climate change, to technological innovation, to the global movement of populations and the restructuring of world politics, to urbanization, social change, and rapid demographic growth, and to inter-religious contact.

Wamboye, Evelyn and Bichaka Fayissa, editors. The Palgrave Handbook of Africa’s Economic Sectors. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2022.
This handbook provides a reference resource to on Africa’s agriculture, industry, services, and manufacturing sectors; factors affecting the sectors’ competitiveness; and the sectors’ contribution to employment, economic growth, and sustainable development. It also addresses the potential benefits that the sectors could harness from the planned Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), and in particular how CFTA could increase the efficiency and competitiveness of these sectors. This book provides evidence-based analysis of the past and current state of Africa’s economic sectors, with a strong emphasis on tangible and specific policy recommendations for the purpose of enhancing future economic growth, employment, and sustainable development of the continent. It also assesses the impact of the first-ever Continental Free Trade Area in Africa, and its potential implications for Africa’s integration into regional and global economy and competitiveness relative to other fast developing economies (such as those in Asia).

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.