This work seeks to examine the nature and dynamics of authoritarianism in Africa and to suggest ways in which the states covered in the book can be democratically reconstituted.
In 1990, a wave of euphoria greeted the "third wave of democratization" that swept across the African Continent. The repression-wearied subalterns were hopeful that the "third wave" would have set into motion the process of democratically reconstituting the authoritarian state on the continent. More than two decades thereafter, although some progress has been made, by and large, the authoritarian state remains the dominant construct in the region. Even in some of the countries in which democratic transitions have taken place, the process of democratic consolidation remains an elusive quest as these states are sandwiched between authoritarianism and democracy.
Against this background, the purpose of this book is to examine the travails of the authoritarian state in Africa, including the Herculean task to democratically reconstruct it. In order to do this, six of Africa’s perennial authoritarian states—Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Liberia, Rwanda and Uganda—are used as the case studies.
The book has two major objectives. First, the various chapters probe the nature and dynamics of authoritarianism in Africa. Second, the chapters suggest ways in which the various authoritarian states covered in the book can be democratically reconstituted.
Chapter 1. Introduction: The Tragedies of the Authoritarian State in Africa, George Klay Kieh, Jr. and Pita Ogaba Agbese Chapter 2. Cameroon’s Stalled Transition to Democratic Governance, John Mukum Mbaku Chapter 3. Rethinking State Formation and the Post-Colonial Experience in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tukumbi Lumumba-Kasongo Chapter 4. State Versus Society: Rethinking the State in Egypt, Hamdy Abdel Rahman Hassan Chapter 5. Rethinking the Liberian State, Alaric Tokpa Chapter 6. State-Building in Rwanda, Jean Marie Kamatali Chapter 7. Rethinking the State in Uganda, Maude Mugisha Chapter 8. Rethinking the Authoritarian Africa State: The Lessons George Klay Kieh, Jr. and Pita Ogaba Agbese
The African Politics and International Relations series seeks to provide readers with a conceptual and comparative perspective on transformations associated with the rise of Africa in international relations and within the global economy. The series explores the empirical and theoretical implications of the engagement of both old and new players, the redefinition of the continent's politics, socio-economic transitions and changing patterns of region-building, both within Africa and with the global South. The series, through its focus on the reappraisal of the role and conception of African agency, seeks to provide readers with a comprehensive, accessible, and insightful treatment of issues that challenge conventional understandings and representations of Africa.