Democratization in Africa: The Theory and Dynamics of Political Transitions

By Earl Conteh-Morgan | Go to book overview

Preface

Analyses of democratization in developing countries are proliferating. Why, then, another one? My response to this question is based on a three-fold rationale. First of all, very few such studies have specifically combined macro- historical and contemporary issues and actors into a theoretical framework to explain the dynamics of ongoing democratization. By far the greatest number focus on explanations of the processes and outcomes of democratic reforms along with the effect of externally imposed economic conditionalities.

Second, nearly all the existing works on political liberalization in developing countries are limited to the isolated analysis of problems, or developments related to democratization as if these have no bearing on historic and contemporary national and global structural continuities and discontinuities of world politics. They are so politically detailed that the main lines of structural developments disappear, at least for many readers. This means that the issues, actors, dilemmas, anomalies, and paradoxes that are the focus of this book are analyzed in an integrated form within a theoretical framework consistent with a theory of democratization.

Third, analysis of democratization since the emergence of this post-Cold War phenomenon in 1991 will afford more basis for critical evaluation and detailed examination of outcomes, dilemmas, anomalies, and paradoxes. Earlier works on the subject may lack the factual and chronological information necessary for a deeper understanding and a more meaningful evaluation of successful, failed, and stalled cases.

For the completion of this book I had the good fortune to be a Senior Fellow at the Norwegian Nobel Institute. I was able to revise the final manuscript in the prestigious academic setting of their research department--an ideal milieu for individual scholarly reflection and collective input. The Institute, under the directorship of Geir Lundestad and Odd Arne Westad, also funded my research trip to Dakar, Senegal, where I was provided with invaluable research help from the staff at the Conseil pour le développement de la recherche en sciences sociales en Afrique (CODESRIA).

-xi-

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Democratization in Africa: The Theory and Dynamics of Political Transitions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Introduction: Democratization as a Transitional Stage 1
  • Notes 10
  • 2 - Explaining Democratization: An Alternative to Existing Conceptualizations 13
  • Notes 30
  • 3 - Institutional Structures and Modern Authoritarianism 33
  • 4 - Independence and the Legitimization of Authoritarian Rule 53
  • Notes 70
  • 5 - Political Insecurity and the Power Political Problem 73
  • Notes 89
  • 6 - The Ethnopolitical-Democratization Conflict Nexus 93
  • Notes 114
  • 7: Military Corporate Interests and Democratization 119
  • 8 - External Imperatives: International Donors and Democratization 143
  • Notes 162
  • 9 - Conclusion 167
  • Notes 180
  • References 183
  • Index 193
  • About the Author 198
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