Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSchool of Social Science, South Africa
OfferedSouth Africa Second semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Ms Danai Mupotsa


The unit explores ideas of 'nation-building' and 'nationality' from a global perspective utilizing a number of theoretical frameworks. However, of the three case studies used, two are from Africa in to grasp a better understanding of the continent. The case studies include Yugoslavia, South Africa and South Sudan, from the sixteenth century to the present. Students will use the three case studies over the period in order to gain a deeper understanding of nation building worldwide and the problems associated with the process (i.e. conflict and ethnicity), as well as the distinct attributes to nation building in Africa.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. Recognise the importance of the idea of nation building and its associated concepts such as race, nationalism, ethnic background and conflict, especially in the African context.
  2. Understand the importance of debate and discussion in the development of these ideas.
  3. Have sound oral and written communication skills and be able to utilise these in debates.
  4. Understand the importance of critical analysis and be comfortable in challenging ideas and arguments.


Tutorial participation (500 words equiv): 10%; Film/book review (1000 words): 20%; Research essay (2000 words): 40%; Exam (1500 words): 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study