Why has it been so difficult to sustain democracy in Africa?
At the end of colonialism, the liberation movements promised so much in the name of freedom and democracy. Over the last fifty years, however, most of the governments that sprang from these movements have behaved in ways that are markedly undemocratic. The opposition parties which came to power after the end of corrupt and authoritarian regimes have not done much better. For ordinary citizens, the cost of this 'democracy gap' has been devastating - uncountable numbers have lost their lives, there has been a staggering loss of human potential, development has been stunted and societies have imploded.
William Gumede's timely and powerful analysis of the fate of democracy across the continent is essential reading.
William M. Gumede is Senior Associate and Oppenheimer Fellow, St. Antony's College, Oxford. He is also on the faculty of the Graduate School of Public and Development Management, University of the Witwatersrand and on the postglobal editorial panel of the Washington Post. He was previously Deputy Editor of The Sowetan newspaper in Johannesburg. In 2007 he published Thabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC. He is also a contributing author to the New History of South Africa (2007).
1. Colonialism and Its Aftermath 2. Elite Ambivalence to Democracy 3. Strong Presidents, One-Party Dominance 4. Neglect of Democratic Institutions 5. Unfree Societies 6. The New Colonialism 7. New Threats to African Democracy 8. Home Grown African Democracies 9. The Future of African Democracy Notes Bibliography Index