Democratization in Africa: The Theory and Dynamics of Political Transitions

By Earl Conteh-Morgan | Go to book overview

of exit (and opponents) provides incumbent regimes an important basis for social power and thus an effective voice in domestic institutions. Second, do incumbent regimes find that institutions give them better opportunities to link issues and, following strategies of reciprocity, to compensate for concerns about relative achievement of gains on some issues with prospects for more favorable sharing of gains on others? Third, do incumbent regimes find that national institutions constitute potentially useful umpires in the process of rearranging the opportunities for the achievement of gains in the face of dissatisfaction with the cooperative arrangements to democratize? Finally, do national institutions permit political groups to develop consensual knowledge of how gains may be distributed under different forms of cooperative arrangements? Can such a development of empirical and theoretical knowledge by domestic institutions allow groups to be more confident that the arrangement they select will foster a relatively low level of political uncertainty?

These are at least some of the questions generated by the possibility that political insecurity generated by democratization exists and acts as an inhibitor of the emergence and maintenance of democratic rule. The incumbent regime is often the political entity that exhibits this condition. Elements of the incumbent regime (the state, the military, and ruling party) in a mutually supportive and symbiotic relationship desire to cling to power for fear of being deprived of their long-held political capabilities.

From this rather specific focus on the reactions of political incumbents and opposition groups to democratization, the next chapter examines the more popular and broader issue of ethnopolitics and its interface with ongoing democratization processes in many African countries.


NOTES
1.
For details on the process of social change in developing countries see Mehran Kamrava, Politics and Society in the Third World ( London: Routledge, 1993), chapter 4.
2.
F. A. Hayek, New Studies in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and the History of Ideas ( London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979), p. 189.
3.
For further details, see among others, Syed Ahmad, "Adam Smith's Four Invisible Hands," History of Political Economy 22 ( 1): 137-44 ( 1990); Thomas V. Bonoma , "Marketing Success Can Breed Marketing Inertia," Harvard Business Review 59: 115-21 ( September-October 1981); and Paul F. Anderson , "Marketing Strategic Planning and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Marketing 46: 15-26 (spring 1982).
4.
See, for example, Thomas C. Shelling, The Strategy of Conflict ( Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1960); Glen H. Snyder, "TheSecurity Dilemma in Alliance Politics,"

-89-

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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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