'This well-informed study starts from the premise that Western-style democracy has never been appropriate in Africa and is unlikely to catch on anytime soon'. Foreign Affairs Challenging orthodox views on contemporary African politics and democracy, M.A. Mohamed Salih offers a fresh approach to the topic, emphasising the role of ethnicity and religion, in particular that of minorities. His central theme is that government donors from Western nations have imposed Western style democracy in Africa, ignoring the indigenous politics of the region, often resulting in chaos. As a consequence many African societies are divided by ethnicity. Revealing how minorities are inevitably marginalised in all aspects of development and education, Salih shows how, in many instances, they are treated as enemies of the state, as are the opposition parties. He examines democracy and authoritarian development in a pan-African context and the democratic potential of political education, and provides a range of country-specific case-studies, including multi-party democracy in Sudan; democratising anarchy in Sierra Leone; religious violence in Obasanjo's Nigeria and ethnic federalism in Ethiopia.
M. A. Mohamed Salih is Professor of Politics of Development at both the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague and the Department of Political Science, University of Leiden, The Netherlands His most recent books include African Pastoralism: Conflict, Institutions and Government (Pluto Press, 2001), Environmental Planning, Policies and Politics in Eastern and Southern Africa (1999), Environmental Politics and Liberation in Contemporary Africa (1999) and Local Environmental Change and Society in Africa (2000).
Preface Maps 1 Introduction 2 Ethnicity in Quasi-Polyarchies 3 Harnessing Authoritarian Development 4 The Democratic Potential of Democratic Education 5 An Authoritarian Circus: Sudan from NIF to 6 Multi-Party Democracy 7 Sierra Leone: Democratising Anarchy 8 Nigeria: Democracy, Ethnicity and Faith 9 Southern African Democracies and 10 South Africa's Resilience 11 Minorities in First-Past-the Post Bibliography Index