It is two decades since the ‘third wave’ of democratization began to roll across sub-Saharan Africa in the early 1990s. This book provides a very timely investigation into the progress and setbacks over that period, the challenges that remain and the prospects for future democratization in Africa. It commences with an overall assessment of the (lack of) progress made from 1990 to 2010, exploring positive developments with reasons for caution. Based on original research, subsequent contributions examine various themes through country case-studies, inclusive of: the routinisation of elections, accompanied by democratic rollback and the rise of hybrid regimes; the tenacity of presidential powers; the dilemmas of power-sharing; ethnic voting and rise of a violent politics of belonging; the role of ‘donors’ and the ambiguities of ‘democracy promotion’. Overall, the book concludes that steps forward remain greater than reversals and that typically, though not universally, sub-Saharan African countries are more democratic today than in the late 1980s. Nonetheless, the book also calls for more meaningful processes of democratization that aim not only at securing civil and political rights, but also socio-economic rights and the physical security of African citizens.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Democratization
1. Democratization in Africa 1990–2010: An Assessment Gabrielle Lynch and Gordon Crawford 2. The Abrogation of the Electorate: An Emergent African Phenomenon Wale Adebanwi and Ebenezer Obadare 3. The Internal Dynamics of Power-Sharing in Africa Nic Cheeseman 4. Taking Back our Democracy? The Trials and Travails of Nigerian Elections since 1999 Cyril Obi 5. An Autocrat’s Toolkit: Adaptation and Manipulation in ‘Democratic’ Cameroon Ericka A. Albaugh 6. Can Democratization Undermine Democracy? Economic and Political Reform in Uganda Michael F. Keating 7. Democracy Promotion in Africa: The Institutional Context Oda van Cranenburgh 8. Ethnicity and Party Preference in Sub-Saharan Africa Matthias Basedau, Gero Erdmann, Jann Lay and Alexander Stroh 9. Democracy, Identity and the Politics of Exclusion in Post-Genocide Rwanda: The Case of the Batwa Danielle Beswick 10. ‘Well, what can you expect?’: Donor Officials’ Apologetics for Hybrid Regimes in Africa Stephen Brown 11. Democratic Crisis or Crisis of Confidence? What Local Perceptual Lenses Tell Us about Madagascar’s 2009 Political Crisis Lauren Leigh Hinthorne
The journal, Democratization, emerged in 1994, during ‘the third wave of democracy’, a period which saw democratic transformation of dozens of regimes around the world. Over the last decade or so, the journal has published a number of special issues as books, each of which has focused upon cutting edge issues linked to democratization. Collectively, they underline the capacity of democratization to induce debate, uncertainty, and perhaps progress towards better forms of politics, focused on the achievement of the democratic aspirations of men and women everywhere.