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Democratization in Africa: Challenges and Prospects by Gordon Crawford

Democratization in Africa: Challenges and Prospects

Part of the Democratization Special Issues Series


Democratization in Africa: Challenges and Prospects by Gordon Crawford

It is two decades since the 'third wave' of democratization began to roll across sub-Saharan Africa in the early 1990s. This book provides a very timely investigation into the progress and setbacks over that period, the challenges that remain and the prospects for future democratization in Africa. It commences with an overall assessment of the (lack of) progress made from 1990 to 2010, exploring positive developments with reasons for caution. Based on original research, subsequent contributions examine various themes through country case-studies, inclusive of: the routinisation of elections, accompanied by democratic rollback and the rise of hybrid regimes; the tenacity of presidential powers; the dilemmas of power-sharing; ethnic voting and rise of a violent politics of belonging; the role of 'donors' and the ambiguities of 'democracy promotion'. Overall, the book concludes that steps forward remain greater than reversals and that typically, though not universally, sub-Saharan African countries are more democratic today than in the late 1980s. Nonetheless, the book also calls for more meaningful processes of democratization that aim not only at securing civil and political rights, but also socio-economic rights and the physical security of African citizens. This book was originally published as a special issue of Democratization

About the Author

Gordon Crawford is Professor of Development Politics at the School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds, UK. Gabrielle Lynch is Associate Professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick.

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Book Info

Publication date

14th May 2012


Gordon Crawford

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Routledge an imprint of Taylor & Francis Ltd


304 pages


Psychology of gender
Teaching of a specific subject
Moral & social purpose of education



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