Democratic Experiments in Africa

Democratic Experiments in Africa : Regime Transitions in Comparative Perspective

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Between 1989 and 1994, 41 out of 47 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa underwent significant political reform, including in many cases the first competitive elections in a generation. How can this wave of political liberalization be explained? Why did some countries complete a democratic transition, while others could not sustain more than limited political reform and others still suffered authoritarian reversals? What are the long term prospects for democracy in Africa? This study constitutes the first comprehensive analysis of democratic transitions in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using an original data set they assembled, the authors demonstrate that economic and international forces often provided the context in which political liberalization occurred, but cannot by themselves explain the observed outcomes. Instead, the authors develop a political-institutional theoretical framework in which the distinctive political traditions of Africa's neopatrimonial states are shown to have powerfully shaped the regime more

Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 6 b/w illus. 1 map
  • 1139174657
  • 9781139174657

Review quote

'Bratton and van de Walle present the most systematic attempt yet undertaken to analyse political change in Africa during the 1990s from a comparative politics perspective ... This thought-provoking book is undoubtedly a very significant contribution to the scholarly debate on the struggle for democracy in Africa. What the authors do they do extremely well ... [and] one of the greatest achievements of this book is to raise a whole series of important questions and hypotheses which can then be focused back into specific African states.' John A. Wiseman 'The authors set out clearly what they are seeking to achieve, and then pursue their objectives methodically with well-structured arguments and a wealth of statistics ... the book breaks new ground in the range of material it contains, and it will provide a starting point for many academic debates.' Commonwealth and Comparative Politicsshow more

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. Approaches to democratization; 2. Neopatrimonial rule in Africa; 3. Africa's divergent transitions, 1990-1994; 4. Explaining political protest; 5. Explaining political liberalization; 6. Explaining democratic transitions; 7. The prospects for democracy; Conclusion: comparative more

Rating details

22 ratings
3.54 out of 5 stars
5 18% (4)
4 36% (8)
3 27% (6)
2 18% (4)
1 0% (0)
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