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Understanding Contemporary Africa, 6th edition

Peter J. Schraeder, editor
Understanding Contemporary Africa, 6th edition
ISBN: 978-1-62637-894-0
ISBN: 978-1-62637-915-2
2020/479 pages/LC: 2020008498
Understanding: Introductions to the States and Regions of the Contemporary World
Praise for the previous editions:

"Excellent.... a remarkably sound text for introductory courses on Sub-Saharan Africa."—Journal of Developing Areas

"A welcome breath of fresh air."—Orbis

"A well chosen and integrated whole.... Deserving of a prominent place in university programmes."—Canadian Journal of Development Studies


The sixth edition of Understanding Contemporary Africa, and the first under the editorship of Peter Schraeder, combines the strengths of the previous editions with coverage of new topics suggested over the years by the many instructors who regularly assign the text in their classes.

Entirely new chapters on the politics of public health, the changing roles of women, LGBTIQ rights, environmental challenges, and population and urbanization, along with new treatments of such classic topics as geography, history, politics, economics, international relations, and more, make for an unparalleled introduction to the complexities of Africa today.


Peter J. Schraeder is professor of political science and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola University Chicago.


  • Introducing Africa—P.J. Schraeder.
  • A Geographic Preface—J.W. Neff and A. Hii.
  • The Historical Context—T. O’Toole and K.L. Dobbs.
  • Politics—P.J. Schraeder.
  • Economies and Development—M. Kevane.
  • International Relations—P.J. Schraeder.
  • Population and Urbanization—J.W. Paller.
  • Public Health—A.S. Patterson.
  • Environmental Challenges—G.A. Myers.
  • Family and Kinship—B.G. Hoffman.
  • Roles of Women—G. Bauer.
  • LGBTIQ Rights—M. Epprecht, S.N. Nyeck, and S.M. Rodriguez.
  • Religion—A. Moyo and P.J. Schraeder.
  • Looking Ahead—P.J. Schraeder.