Democratization in Africa: The Theory and Dynamics of Political Transitions

By Earl Conteh-Morgan | Go to book overview

8
External Imperatives: International
Donors and Democratization

The organization of democracy, the form in which people are enabled in any society to express their freedom, has to be in accordance with the people's culture, history and development. You can't have democracy like Coca-Cola. It's given, it's in a bottle and we all drink the same kind of Cola-Cola. What kind of democracy is that?

Julius Nyerere West Africa

The preceding chapters explored the nature and behavior of democratization from the perspective of domestic (ethnic, military, electoral competition, and the like) power struggles and the notion of regime security enhancement. In this chapter I will develop our understanding of democratization by approaching it from an external interventionist perspective (the IMF/ World Bank privatization and market-based demands on democratization in developing countries). In principle, at least, an international macro-financial control perspective contains a number of important considerations not only in the economic (monetary/financial) implications inherent in IMF/ World Bank conditionalities and austerity measures, but also in that these Western-controlled international financial institutions profile intent or commitment in the areas of politicoeconomic choice and control.

Certainly, as far as developing countries are concerned, the analysis of international financial donor behavior toward democratization has rightly for a number of reasons become a major and enduring area of investigation. 1 In the first place, the fiscal control inherent in IMF/ World Bank conditionalities represents an extremely important instrument of macro-economic control. Both economists and political scientists have examined IMF/ World Bank packages and foreign aid from Western donors from both their impact on domestic economic

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