Iheduru, Obioma M.

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Iheduru, Obioma M.

PERSONAL: Male.

ADDRESSES: Office—-Fort Valley State University, 1005 State University Dr., Fort Valley, GA 31030-4313. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, GA, associate professor.

WRITINGS:

The Politics of Economic Restructuring and Democracy in Africa, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1999.

(Editor) Contending Issues in African Development: Advances, Challenges, and the Future, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 2001.

SIDELIGHTS: Obioma M. Iheduru is an academician who writes on the politics and economics of African nations. In his first book, The Politics of Economic Restructuring and Democracy in Africa, he argues "that by forcing governments to reduce their programs and staffs, external agencies like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have indirectly contributed to strengthening democracy," according to a review by Paul Clements in the Journal of Asian and African Studies. Clements continued, "He argues that when forced to retrench, these governments vacated social spaces that then became available to elements of civil society." Although the critic admitted that the basic idea behind the author's argument "is not without force," he felt that the factual data Iheduru uses do not support his case convincingly. On the other hand, American Political Science writer Anthony Tuo-Kofi Gadzey was more impressed by the book. "Iheduru's focus on how real people live their lives and try to cope with the declining scope and ability of the African state system," the critic stated, "is a welcome new direction in African development research."

In his Africa Today review of Contending Issues in African Development: Advances, Challenges, and the Future, which Iheduru edited, Donald L. Sparks was impressed by Iheduru's work "in putting together a number of interesting and thought-provoking articles written by some of the most distinguished authors on the subject" of development in Africa. The collected essays cover such topics as the role of government in development, the ways in which society, in turn, influences government, how countries in Africa can manage change, and the possibilities of regional integration. While some of these themes are supported by the essays more convincingly than others, Sparks concluded that "Iheduru did a fine job of pulling together the different themes into an overall conclusion," although the editor's final predictions are dismal for Africa.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Africa Today, summer, 2001, Donald L. Sparks, review of Contending Issues in African Development: Advances, Challenges, and the Future, p. 163.

American Political Science Review, September, 2000, Anthony Tuo-Kofl Gadzey, review of The Politics of Economic Restructuring and Democracy in Africa, p. 743.

Journal of Asian and African Studies, August, 2001, Paul Clements, "Challenges for African States," review of The Politics of Economic Restructuring and Democracy in Africa, p. 295.