This course provides an introduction to the study of African politics. The lectures and readings briefly review the social and historical context of contemporary political life. They then profile the changes of the early post-Independence period, the authoritarian turn of the 1970s and 80s, the second liberation of the 1990s, and problems of war, state-building, and development. Although the lectures trace a narrative, each also introduces a major analytical debate and an important policy problem. Broadly comparative with some special attention to selected countries.