Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

African Development: Making Sense of the Issues and Actors, 3rd edition

Todd J. Moss and Danielle Resnick
African Development: Making Sense of the Issues and Actors, 3rd edition
ISBN: 978-1-62637-724-0
ISBN: 978-1-62637-772-1
2018/313 pages/LC: 2018005689
From the reviews of the previous editions:

"Thoughtful, well written, and even the mature scholar of African development will be impressed by its contents.... [This] book leads the student 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's 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.... Highly recommended."—Choice


Both authoritative and accessible, African Development introduces the issues, actors, and institutions at play in development trajectories across sub-Saharan Africa.

This new edition, thoroughly updated, includes an entirely new chapter devoted to key demographic trends in the region, especially rapid urbanization and the distinct "youth bulge." There is also a review of major democratic gains and disappointments since 2011; analysis of renewed internal armed conflicts; and attention to the contemporary sovereign debt crisis relative to the structural adjustment debt of earlier decades.

The book uniquely brings to life the collective impact of history, economics, and politics on development in the region.


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. Danielle Resnick is senior research fellow in the Development Strategy and Governance Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute.


  • The Complexities of African Development.
  • The Colonial Legacy.
  • Big Men, Personal Rule, and Patronage Politics.
  • Party Systems and Democratic Trajectories.
  • Conflict, War, and State Fragility.
  • Growth and Transformation.
  • The Political Economy of Policy Reform.
  • The International Aid System.
  • Debt ... and Déjà Vu?
  • Poverty, Health, and Human Development.
  • Demography, Urbanization, and Inequality.
  • The African Union and Regional Institutions.
  • World Trade and Late Industrialization.
  • Private Investment and the Business Environment.
  • Uncertainty and Optimism.