Background Paper: The State of Social Science in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Any review of an array of scientific disciplines as diverse as the social sciences runs the risk of easy generalization, oversimplification or selective anecdotalism. When these disciplines are practised within highly dissimilar institutions and organisations in more than forty countries on the African continent, the task is even more challenging. Our approach in this chapter has been to use a combination of quantitative methodologies (bibliometric analysis and survey studies) with more qualitative studies (case studies) in order to arrive at some broad generalizations as well as in-depth analysis. In addition we have benefitted greatly from a number of studies over the past ten to fifteen years that have presented broadbrushed analysis of the state of higher education and universities as well as the social sciences on the continent (Aina, 1998: Anugwon, 2004; Sall, 2003 and Zeleza, 2003).


Johann Mouton

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