The Paradox of Third-Wave Democratization in Africa

The Paradox of Third-Wave Democratization in Africa : The Gambia Under Afprc-Aprc Rule, 1994-2008

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This book is about the dilemma(s) of 'third-wave' 'democratization' in Africa. It teases out the general proposition that while the market is a necessary ingredient for development, it is not by itself a sufficient condition for prosperity_the state's role, policy framework, and leadership also matter. Using a counter-example, the book contends that in a poor governance environment, gross human rights violations result in poor economic performance and failure by repressive governments to provide basic needs for the poor in society. While this study is concerned primarily with The Gambia, it nonetheless has a lot to say about Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, and other countries in the continent caught in the paralysis of externally driven political and economic transitions and globalization. Locating countries undergoing liberalization and democratization within the global economy_as well as their peripheral status within it_is important, as patterns of contemporary globalization are highly asymmetrical and often associated with a democratic deficit. Consequently, some groups, classes, and states enjoy numerous political and economic freedoms foreign to the vast majority of humanity, which lives in oppressive living conditions. The Paradox of Third-Wave Democratization in Africa is also a comprehensive account of the historical, political, and economic events since the onset of military and quasi-military rule in this West African mini-state of 1.5 million, once the longest surviving functioning democracy in Africa. Predictably, the book is about former President Dawda Jawara as much as it is about soldier-turned-president Yahya Jammeh, who in the last fourteen years has dominated the country's political and economic landscape. In the end, the book posits that various attempts to improve living standards of ordinary Gambians and Africans by client regimes using foisted conventional market-driven economic models alone are not likely to succeed until they are predicated on a basic-needs economic strategy and organically spawned political structures. Finally, the book highlights transnational political and economic ties Diaspora Gambians have established with The Gambia and their attempts to both shape and nudge politics in the second republic in a more democratic more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Lexington Books
  • MD, United States
  • English
  • 073913504X
  • 9780739135044

Review quote

This book seeks to analyze and interpret the history of The Gambia since the military coup of 1994, applying a variety of the theoretical perspectives to issues of governance, socioeconomic development, and human rights Recommended. Saine recommends a series of major policy changes to bring political democracy, economic development, and respect for human rights to the people of his homeland. This volume is best suited for university libraries, collections specializing in international affairs, African studies, and military affairs, and larger public library systems... Recommended. Saine has written the most comprehensive study of Gambian politics to date. Its analysis of the causes of military intervention in 1994 and the subsequent transition to civilian rule provides a basis for a comparative critical examination of political systems in West Africa that are struggling to establish genuine democratic governance. The book also exposes the fallacy of a 'democratic' Gambia prior to 1994 under Dawda Jawara, who ruled the country for three decades. The sober and balanced analysis is refreshing. The book will be an excellent reference for scholars of comparative democratization.--Julius E. Nyang'oro, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill This carefully researched work provides a much-needed analysis of Gambian politics and economy. By far the most illuminating and comprehensive research on the Gambia's descent into hell, Dr. Saine's is an authoritative diagnosis of democracy's travails in the tiny West African country that most scholars interested in authoritarian politics and political economy will find compelling.--Mathurin Houngnikpo, The Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University In this book, Abdoulaye Saine provides a superb account of the domestic political conditions that explain the persistence of poverty and economic crisis in Africa. With a focus on The Gambia under Yahya Jammeh (1994-2008), and drawing from other African cases in a comparative perspective, the author skillfully traces the causes of development crisis in The Gambia to poor governance, authoritarianism, and human rights violations. Although the analysis is focused on The Gambia, the findings reflect the African situation by drawing on relevant examples from other states. This is a must-read book for scholars, activists, and policy makers interested in the comparative political economy of development.--Sakah Saidu Mahmud Saine here offers well-informed historic and political analysis. . . . its analysis is greatly enriched by careful comparisons drawn to similar developments in other young African nations. . . . The strengths and contributions of the book are many, as Saine provides a coherent, transparent, and critical evaluation of Gambian political history. . . . Saine's analysis makes great strides at getting to the heart of factors that truly matter and come into play in the successful development -- or, conversely, the deterioration -- of young nations. . . . Most certainly, Saine's book is a well-researched contribution to what is already known abou tthe political history of the Gambia.--Christopher Green, Indiana University - Bloomington "Africa Today " This is unquestionably an important book.... He offers--in the book and very uniquely--lucid, clear, coherent, original, important and critical insights into our understanding of contemporary Gambian politics.... A worthwhile book for policy makers, politicians, journalists, researchers, students, development practitioners, among others.... It deserves a permanent place on our book shelves.... Entertaining to read, filled with intriguing detail.... Immensley useful.... Thoroughly researched.... Dr. Saine has written one of the most comprehensive and compelling studies of Gambian politics to date.... Lively, informative and strongly recommended.--Ebrima Ceesay "The Gambia Echo "show more

About Abdoulaye S Saine

Abdoulaye Saine is associate professor of political science at Miami University of Ohio and co-author of Not Yet Democracy: West Africa's Slow Farewell to more