Democracy in Africa: The Hard Road Ahead

By Marina Ottaway | Go to book overview

claims on the public purse. The political class was highly fragmented and driven by personal disputes that could in time only discredit democratic politics. In Madagascar, the military has remained resolutely on the sidelines, but general support for the regime is waning. Calls for federalism, exacerbated by Ratsiraka to try to hold on to power, today weaken the Zafy government and delegitimate the current constitution. 62 In Mali, the threat of military intervention remains high, particularly given Touré's continuing popularity and the appeal to many of a Ghanaian-style denouement to current problems.

By mid-1995, all three governments had lost much of the popular enthusiasm that had swept them into office, but each seemed likely to survive until the end of their electoral term, no mean accomplishment in postcolonial Africa. The governments in Mali and Madagascar seemed more vulnerable, however, to some kind of regime breakdown. Ironically, they had lost more of their legitimacy than the Chiluba government in Lusaka and yet had achieved considerably less to restore the bases of long-term economic growth.


Notes

I would like to thank Chris Barrett, Michael Bratton, Jonathan Hartlyn, Marina Ottaway, and Mamisoa Rangers for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper.

1.
Among a large literature: Samuel P. Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century ( Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991); Nancy Bermeo, "Rethinking Regime Change", Comparative Politics 22, no. 3 ( 1991): 357-377; Guillermo O'Donnell and Philippe Schmitter, Transitions from Authoritarian Rule:Tentative Conclusions About Uncertain Democracies ( Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986); Karen L. Remmer , "New Wine or Old Bottlenecks? The Study of Latin American Democracy", Comparative Politics 23, no. 4 ( July 1991): 479-98.
2.
For example, Michael Bratton and Nicolas van de Walle, "Popular Protest and Political Transition in Africa", Comparative Politics 24, no. 4 ( July 1992): 419-442, and "Neopatrimonial Regimes and Political Transitions in Africa", World Politics 46, no. 4 ( July 1994): 453-489; Samuel Decalo, "The Process, Prospects and Constraints of Democratization in Africa", African Affairs 91 ( 1992): 7-35; Christopher Clapham, "Democratization in Africa:"Obstacles and Prospects, Third World Quarterly 14, no. 3 ( 1993): 423-438; René Lemarchand, "Africa's Troubled Transitions", Journal of Democracy 3, no. 4 ( October 1992): 98-109; and Peter Lewis , "Political Transition, and the Dilemma of Civil Society in Africa", Journal of International Affairs 46, no. 1 ( summer 1992): 31-54.
3.
Different perspectives on Africa's economic crisis include Ajay Chhibber and Stanley Fischer, Economic Reform in Sub-Saharan Africa ( Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1991); Benno Ndulu and Nicolas van de Walle, eds., Agenda for Africa's Economic Renewal ( Washington D.C.: Overseas Development Council, 1996); Thomas Callaghy and John Ravenhill, eds., Hemmed in:Responses to Africa's Economic Decline ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1993); PaulCollier

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