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Warlord Politics and African States

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1555878832
ISBN-10: 1555878830
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Lynne Rienner Publishers (July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555878830
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555878832
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #888,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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62 of 62 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In the midst of my research on timber Liberia, I was told that the only person who really knew what was going on in West Africa was William Reno, assistant professor at the University of Florida. When I called him to ask for information, he told me about the book that he published just this year. I tracked it down in the library, and was very relieved (after much fruitless searching) to find a readable and informative explanation of the politics of so called "weak states", along with four case studies on West African Nations. Reno's book provided by far the most comprehensive and readable explanation of the modus operendi of this region.
The first two chapters, entitled "The Distinctive Political Logic of Weak States" and "Africa's Weakest States After the Cold War", outline useful background information on the unique political systems in place in sub-saharan Africa. Reno does an excellent job of balancing his political theory with hist! orical examples. The next four chapters, which subsequantly cover Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and DRC (formerly Zaire), provide detailed analyses of the economic and political situations in these countries. Reno places the factions, the foreign business partners and the conflicting European vs. African interests in a solid context. On Liberia he writes, "The way we think about Liberia is strongly influenced by images of chaos and random violence.... In fact, war in Liberia has followed a clear logic. Warlord pursuit of commerce has been the critical variable in conflicts there. Stongmen have used commerce to consolidate their political power within a coalition of interest among themselves, businesspeople, and local fighters"(p.79).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By N. Lefore on January 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
this book provides analysis of weak or failed states in Africa, based on thorough on the ground research and solid historical work. i bought it for my phd dissertation into democratization and violence, but its relevant for any comparative politics/historical work on Africa. precisely because its so well grounded in actual politics, it adds to some of the classic and recent theoretical studies on Africa, while remaining accessible to any one trying to understand what is happening.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Drawing upon fieldwork in a number of troubled regions, Reno has produced a compelling and insightful examination of political realities within Africa's war-torn states. A valuable alternative to the more common hand-wringing and finger-pointing of most African political appraisals.
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