Democratization in Africa: The Theory and Dynamics of Political Transitions

By Earl Conteh-Morgan | Go to book overview
Save to active project

5
Political Insecurity and the Power
Political Problem

Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.

Henry Adams

The disruptive effects of global systemic events (for example, the imposition of colonial rule, the independence era, or the end of the Cold War) extend beyond the social and cultural millieu into the political sphere as well. They generate social change, which has the potential of rupturing the political process in two ways. It can nurture beliefs and values that challenge the political establishment or result in the emergence of new groups exerting participatory demands on the system. Global systemic change often results in the promotion of values that undermine the legitimacy of existing political systems, particularly in cases where the incumbent political regime itself is not considered legitimate in the eyes of most citizens.

Values such as democratic rights and greater citizen participation are not necessarily those that political systems in developing countries tend to champion. They are, in fact, widely circulated and popularly demanded by populations that have experienced the interactive effects of domestic social change and macro- structural transformations. In many instances, challenge against the political establishment have occurred because of a discrepancy between the policies of the incumbent regime and the values adhered to by the society at large. These threats or challenges against the political establishment have ranged from protests, demonstrations, riots and civil wars to outright revolution. Moreover, the diffusionist effects of Western cultures tend to encourage the growth of formal practices and the gradual shift toward participatory democracy. The result is the exposure of the incumbent regime to new forms of competition for which it is not prepared. Groups that had been at the political periphery begin clamoring for more prominence in the struggle for political control. The usual

-73-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Democratization in Africa: The Theory and Dynamics of Political Transitions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 200

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?