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Periodical article Periodical article ASC Leiden catalogue ASC Leiden catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Democratisation in Africa: the role of self-enforcing constitutional rules
Authors:du Plessis, SophiaISNI
Jansen, AdaISNI
Siebrits, Krige
Year:2015
Periodical:African Journal on Conflict Resolution (ISSN 1562-6997)
Volume:15
Issue:1
Pages:9-31
Language:English
Geographic terms:Africa
Ivory Coast - Côte d'Ivoire
Central African Republic
Mozambique
Kenya
Botswana
Subjects:democratization
constitutionalism
rule of law
Link:http://www.accord.org.za/ajcr-issues/democratisation-in-africa/
Abstract:Following several decades during which violent civil conflict was common in African countries, the period from 1990 onwards was marked by a spreading and deepening of adherence to democratic principles. Nonetheless, many African countries still experience political instability and civil unrest. This raises the question of why these countries have not succeeded in resolving conflict in a sustainable manner. Drawing on economic ideas about contracts and institutions, this paper outlines a conceptual framework for thinking about the role of constitutional rules in achieving political stability. It also elucidates a critical requirement for sustainable democratic systems, namely that constitutional rules must become self-sustaining to safeguard such systems and to avoid relapses into violent civil conflict. The experiences of selected African countries (Côte d'Ivoire, Central African Republic, Mozambique, Kenya, Botswana) are presented as brief case studies that illustrate the relevance of the conceptual framework and the notion of self-enforcing constitutional rules. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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