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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:African Transitions to Democracy: An Interim (and Mostly Pessimistic) Assessment
Author:Lemarchand, RenéISNI
Periodical:Africa Insight
Geographic term:Africa
Politics and Government
Economics and Trade
Abstract:Widespread evidence of political liberalization in much of Africa notwithstanding, there are equally compelling reasons to fear that the movement towards democracy may contain within itself the seeds of its own undoing. Three challenges are particularly worth sustained attention. One stems from the crises and uncertainties that have accompanied the demise of autocratic regimes, and which inevitably mortgage the transition from liberalization to democratic consolidation. Another source of uncertainty stems from the strategic counteroffensives mounted by African autocrats in the face of growing threats to their hegemony. The third challenge concerns the impact of structural adjustment programmes (SAP) on newly emergent power configurations, and how these in turn may affect the prospects for democracy. This article analyses these challenges to the democratic movement in Africa, after a short description of some African perceptions (or misperceptions) of the liabilities involved in democratic transitions. Notes, ref.