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POLAF - Politics in Africa: changes, conflicts, connections

Seasonal School POLAF


Deadline for Registration

April 27th, 2025


June 9th-13th, 2025

Learning objectives

Africa is key to many of today’s global political challenges. It offers a unique prism for understanding, and addressing, issues of international relevance such as inequality and insecurity, climate change and extractivism, liberal order crises and governance challenges. The flourishing of 'Africa Strategies' by numerous international actors (including the recent adoption of the so-called Mattei Plan by the Italian government) testifies to the growing salience of Africa in international fora. Yet the predominance of simplistic and stereotypical readings do not adequately capture the rapid evolution of the scholarly reflections on these issues. Drawing on insights from international relations, political economy, political ecology, cultural and postcolonial studies, POLAF will enable participants to: apprehend the ongoing transformations of Africa’s politics of contention; learn and apply a variety of theoretical perspectives and methodological tools of social science; get familiarized with the critical and practical skills which might help build one’s career in international institutions, regional organisations and NGOs, but also in think tanks, research centres and academia.

Teaching methodologies

Students will find an interactive and cross-disciplinary learning environment, proposing a combination of research-led and research-oriented formats. We will exploit the synergies between lectures delivered by renowned international and SSSA lecturers; research roundtables; simulations and roleplays. Additional cultural activities will also be offered in the evening hours, such as audio and video screening sessions, to encourage knowledge of the self-representations of contemporary Africa.

Target participants

Undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students from different backgrounds who have already obtained at least 60 ECTS from these subject areas: political science, sociology, economics, history, philosophy, law, foreign languages, geography, area studies.

Coordinators and Key teaching staff

Coordinators: Francesco Strazzari, Luca Raineri
Additional project team members: Laura Berlingozzi

Key teaching staff: Lorenzo Gasbarri, Enrico Pè, Matteo Dell’Acqua, Leonardo Caproni, Andrea Roventini, Francesco Lamperti