Military Elites and Democratization: Ghana and Nigeria
Anene, John N, Political and Military Sociology
MILITARY ELITES AND DEMOCRATIZATION: GHANA AND NIGERIA1
This study shows that intramilitary elite competitive politics between the military democrats and autocrats determine the nature of democratization in Ghana and Nigeria. Also, the duration of the democratic transition is linked to the resolution of the intramilitary democratization puzzle within the political military domain. It was also found that the political sociology of military coup behavior reveals the profiles of the military democratic and autocratic elite groups in the armed forces organization. Furthermore, the active support of retired ranking military elites for civilian electoral rule, since the 1990s, enhances the restoration of electoral civilian democracy. Therefore, both the political military activities within the military regime and within the 'uncivil military' sector comprising retired military elites inform military democratic analysis in sub-Saharan Africa. Both sectors of the political military relations determine the "military factor" which is vital for successful democratization and sustaining civilian electoral rule in the region.
"By their fruits you know them" (Matthew 7:16)
The civil-military relations literature is deficient on how the military affects transitional democratization from military rule in sub-Saharan Africa. Neither the empirical basis of the relationship nor counterfactual arguments about it have been fully specified. Yet, the literature presumes an antidemocratic role for the military. The presumption does not reflect the impact of intramilitary relationships on the process of democratization. Such a position lacking in empirical reference presents an "exogeneity problem" in democratization discourse: the assigning of assumed known values for and of the military factor, when those values lack empirical validity. The lack of empirical knowledge, exogeneity, also is because the literature assumes that the role of the armed forces is dependent on the sustained pressure of the civil society. Hence, the political activities in the civil society are studied while intramilitary activities are not. Consequently, the military is viewed as a negative unitary actor regarding democratization and military behavior generally considered not prodemocratic.
Due to the exogeneity problem, the autocratic anti-democratic character of the military has become the dominant paradigm (value system) informing political military analysis on democratization (see, e.g., Hutchful and Bathily eds., 1998; Onwumechili, 1998; Adekanye, 1997; Butts and Metz, 1996; Frazer, 1995; and Welch, 1995). Consequently, since the paradigm generalizes from the anti-democratic activities of the military, it fails to account for the endogenous political activities within the military that facilitate the process of democratization in the region. This failure further raises the "internal validity" issue which is the problem of drawing a false positive conclusion about covariation between the military and transitional democratization.2
An emergent literature is focusing on intramilitary relationships rather than the unitary actor model of the military. Bratton and van de Walle (1997:210-217, 243-245) found that the occurrence of military coups better explains transitional democratization outcome in the region than the reason of civil society and international pressures. The civil centric explanations are therefore theoretically overdetermined while the military explanation is highly underestimated in the democratic discourse regarding sub-Saharan Africa. Given that in the majority of praetorian African states the military has more years in rule than civilians, the political military sector has progressively through historical maturation acquired an independent influence on both the military institution and the political system. In Ghana, since political independence in 1957 through the inauguration of the …
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Publication information: Article title: Military Elites and Democratization: Ghana and Nigeria. Contributors: Anene, John N - Author. Journal title: Political and Military Sociology. Volume: 28. Issue: 2 Publication date: Winter 2000. Page number: 230+. © Dr. George Kourvetaris Winter 1996. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.