Democratization in Africa: The Theory and Dynamics of Political Transitions

By Earl Conteh-Morgan | Go to book overview

7
Military Corporate Interests and
Democratization

But these people are talking about democracy in the army, and an army by definition is undemocratic. Whether in the U.S. army, the British army, or the SPLM army, it moves by orders.

John Garang, Leader of The Sudan People's Liberation Army, Torit Faction

The context of global systemic values have changed considerably since the end of the Cold War superpower ideological rivalry, influencing thereby the political climate within which political actors relate to power politics in Africa. For example, international pressure appears to be an important adjunct to democratic protest in transforming the military from a loyal repressive force or a guardian of the incumbent regime to supporter of reform. The demise of one of the superpowers and the concomitant strategic retrenchment of the other has also spawned a series of political ramifications challenging the political status quo. The status quo is in large part a manifestation of authoritarian, monopolistic, and predatory tendencies by either a one-party civilian or military government, and often some combination of the two. But one of the most encouraging features of the democratization wave in Africa has been the largely acquiescent attitude by the military. This is not to say that the traditional behavior of armies seizing power and dominating the political process is totally a thing of the past. In varying degrees, the military in Burundi, Zaire, Togo, and Nigeria, among others, have obstructed democratiz tion and political liberalization. But there are many encouraging examples of African militaries as proponents of democracy, and effectively adapting to the new political morality.

A number of utilities are conventionally attributed to the military as an institution, indicating that the military should be viewed as an institution of a multidimensional character. One of these dimensions is the role played by the military as a defining attribute of the state. The kind of issues explored in the

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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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