Neither Devil Nor Child

Pages: 224
Subject: Politics, Current Affairs
Imprint: Oneworld

Neither Devil Nor Child

How Western Attitudes Are Harming Africa

Tom Young

It is time to change how we think about Africa
9781786070630 (1 Mar 2018)
RRP £18.99 / US$28.99

The Book

If you boil a kettle twice today, you will have used five times more electricity than a person in Mali uses in a whole year. How can that be possible?

Decades after the colonial powers withdrew from Africa, the continent is still struggling to catch up with the rest of the world. When the same colonists withdrew from Asia, it kickstarted several decades of sustained and unprecedented growth throughout the continent. So what went wrong in Africa? And are we fixing it, or making matters worse?

In this provocative analysis, scholar Tom Young argues that so much has been misplaced: our guilt, our policies, our aid. Human rights have become a cover for imposing our values on others, our shiniest infrastructure projects have fuelled corruption and our interference in domestic politics has only entrenched conflict. If we really care about Africa as much as we say we do, it is time for us to leave.

Additional Information

Subject Politics, Current Affairs
Pages 224
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Tom Young is a senior lecturer in politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is the editor of Readings in African Politics, and the author of Africa: A Beginner's Guide.


‘For the past few decades, the idea of development has been dominated by policies demanding Thatcherite-style remedies, alongside earnest pleas by charities and celebrities to deliver never-ending amounts of foreign assistance. Neither have worked. Sixty years after the independence era began, the challenge to make African economies more diverse and industrious remains. At times controversial, Tom Young issues a compelling case for a more honest approach to the continent by the West. There is no doubt that his argument needs to be heard.'

- Ian Taylor, Professor in International Relations and African Political Economy, University of St Andrews

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