Nick Westcott, Director of the Royal African Society, discusses the African State.
African states have been in flux since long before colonial powers carved up the continent into bite-sized chunks at the end of the 19th century.
In the 60 years since most became independent, new trends have emerged. Some have reflected history, both colonial and pre-colonial, from ethnic rivalries and migrating populations to authoritarian structures, extractive institutions and irrational borders.
Others reflect new dynamics both local and global - economic imbalances, demographic dynamism, changing climate and a changing balance of global power. But in particular there is a shift in the ideological basis of the state: how do people view it, what do they expect and what do governments think they should do?
This is a joint event with the Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance