March 14, 2008

Book Review - Africa's Stalled Development

Africa's Stalled Development: International Causes & Cures
David K. Leonard and Scott Straus
HC 800 .L465 2003

Leonard and Straus examine why the African continent has not developed similarly to the rest of the world. The book opens with an explanation of the political context of the African content. The second chapter discusses aid provided by wealthier nations and incentives for African development. Chapter three focuses on technical assistance provided by other nations and the racism, real or perceived, that is intertwined with it. Civil conflict in Africa is discussed at length, with one chapter focusing on causes and another exploring international humanitarian efforts in Africa. The authors conclude that African development is stalled because of its historical experiences and the absence of appropriate political and economic structures, not due to any cultural factors. They include recommendations on how development might be assisted more effectively, including current efforts that they feel are undermining or at cross purposes with African social structures. This book is thoroughly researched, with extensive notes to each chapter and bibliographical references.