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African Development: Making Sense of the Issues and Actors, 2nd edition

Todd J. Moss
African Development: Making Sense of the Issues and Actors, 2nd edition
ISBN: 978-1-58826-769-6
ISBN: 978-1-62637-201-6
2011/290 pages/LC: 2011025316
From the reviews of the first edition (a Choice Outstanding Academic Book):

"Thoughtful, well written, and even the mature scholar of African development will be impressed by its contents.... Moss' book leads the student in to a deep understanding of the actors at work in Africa's development."—Barry Riddell, Canadian Journal of Development Studies

"Treating both political and economic themes with admirable clarity, [Moss] walks the reader briskly through Africa' colonial legacy, the syndrome of personal rule, the economic liabilities of conflict, and the challenges of democratic reform.... Provides a thorough and critical but fair-minded treatment in a style that is plainspoken and often witty.... An excellent resource."—Peter Lewis, Foreign Affairs

"An excellent introduction to current political and economic issues in Africa. Chapter 1's 'Ten Tips for Sensibly Studying African Development' are reason enough to read the book.... Highly recommended."—Choice


This fully revised edition of African Development reflects the recent development successes experienced in Africa, as well as the growing divergence between countries that are engaging with the global economy and those that remain more insular. The result is a comprehensive introduction to the development issues, actors, and institutions interacting across the diverse continent.

The book is designed to address three fundamental questions: Where are we now? How did we get to this point? What are the current debates? There is also a chapter that acquaints the reader both with well-known "big men" and with equally important but lesser-known African leaders.

The new edition includes, in addition to updated information, entirely new sections on such topics as Africom, Chinese investment, sovereign wealth funds, the rebound of the African Development Bank, nontraditional donors, Millennium Villages, and the impact of the financial crisis.


Todd J. Moss is senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and nonresident scholar at Rice University's Baker Institute and the Payne Institute at the Colorado School of Mines. He is author of Adventure Capitalism: Globalization and the Political Economy of Stock Markets in Africa.


  • The Complexities and Uncertainties of Development.
  • The Domestic Context.
  • History and the Legacy of Colonialism.
  • Big Men, Personal Rule, and Patronage Politics.
  • Violent Conflict and Civil War.
  • Political Change and Democratization.
  • Core Development Questions.
  • Africa’s Growth Puzzle.
  • Economic Policy and the Politics of Adjustment.
  • The International Aid System.
  • Debt Burdens and Debt Relief.
  • Poverty, Human Development, and HIV/AIDS.
  • Regionalism and Globalization.
  • The African Union and Regional Institutions.
  • Africa and World Trade.
  • Private Investment and the Business Environment.
  • Conclusion.
  • Some Concluding Themes.