Democracy and Democratization in Africa

Democracy and democratization front cover

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Unlike other studies of democracy and democratization in Africa that start the investigation with postcolonial developments, this book is a comprehensive study that investigates political developments in African colonial and postcolonial states. The research finds that centralized and decentralized African states designed and implemented democratic institutions hundreds of years before they were ultimately defeated by European powers. This argument turns upside down the conventional view that the birth place of democracy is the ancient city-state of Athens; it shows that democracy emerged in Africa and later spread in Greece. Moreover, the book proposes an original theory of democratization that discusses the conditions of the emergence of democracy in the context of precolonial Africa. Analyzing politics in contemporary African states, the study draws a sharp dichotomic line between democracy and dictatorship and proposes a classification and ranking of these two types of political regimes in Africa. Looking ahead, this work also discusses and proposes answers to some of the most important issues regarding the building of democratic regimes in contemporary African states. The methodological strategy adopted by this project is that of triangulation: comparative historical analysis, theoretical and empirical analyses contribute to provide a comprehensive explanation of democratic development in both pre- and postcolonial African states.