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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Managing Transition Anarchies: Rwanda, Burundi and South Africa in Comparative Perspective
Author:Lemarchand, RenéISNI
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic terms:Burundi
South Africa
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/161565
Abstract:This article tries to explain the contrasting trajectories of Rwanda, Burundi and South Africa, and see what lessons can be learned from a comparative assessment of their performance in coping with the challenge of democratization. The argument, in a nutshell, is that structural factors, social and economic - whether 'enabling', as in South Africa, or 'disabling', as in Rwanda and Burundi - are not enough to explain success or failure. The author believes that such constraints, no matter how limiting, do not rule out the element of choice in democratic transitions. Significant as they may be in facilitating or hampering favourable outcomes, and in shaping the reconstruction of ethnic or racial selves, the really critical variables have to do with 1) the nature of the transition bargain, 2) the quality of leadership skills, 3) the character of opposition movements, and 4) the attitude of the armed forces. Only passing reference is made to yet another variable, namely the role of external pressures in shaping democratic transitions. Notes, ref.