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Democratization in Africa

, 392 pages
February 2010



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Democratization in Africa

Progress and Retreat

second edition

At a time when democracy seems to be in retreat in many parts of the world, Africa presents a more mixed picture. A number of African countries have been convulsed by high-profile crises, while others have quietly continued making progress on the difficult path toward democratic stability.

Democratization in Africa: Progress and Retreat brings into focus the complex landscape of African politics by pairing broad analytical surveys with country-specific case studies—most previously published in the Journal of Democracy and all written by prominent Africanists with deep knowledge of the continent and their subject countries.

Thematic chapters address some of the major forces working for and against African democracy: the phenomenon of "frontier Africa"; presidentialism; the rise of independent legislatures; the rule of law versus the "big man"; the institutionalization of political power; the decline of military coups; the paradox of growth without prosperity; and the roles of formal and informal institutions. Countries examined include Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Democratization in Africa: Progress and Retreat is an essential primer for students of African politics and those interested in the future of democracy around the world.

Contributors: Kate Baldwin, Joel D. Barkan, Michael Bratton, Michael Chege, John F. Clark, Larry Diamond, Steven Friedman, Kenneth Good, E. Gyimah-Boadi, Barak Hoffman, Richard Joseph, Seth Kaplan, Maina Kiai, Peter Lewis, Eldred Masunungure, Penda Mbow, Andrew M. Mwenda, Dave Peterson, Daniel N. Posner, H. Kwasi Prempeh, Lindsay Robinson, Paula Cristina Roque, Rotimi T. Suberu, Herbert F. Weiss, Christopher Wyrod, Daniel J. Young

Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, where he also directs the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Marc F. Plattner is vice president for research and studies at the National Endowment for Democracy, where he directs the International Forum for Democratic Studies. They serve as coeditors of the Journal of Democracy.

"The collection is representative of African politics and will serve the needs of faculty, especially for undergraduate courses."

"Given its broad sweep of anglophone Africa, highly readable style, balanced perspectives, and penetrating analysis, this volume represents an important contribution to the field and a valuable resource for students wishing to comprehend the seemingly contradictory outcomes associated with African democratisation."

"Rich accounts of democracy's progress and retreat in Africa."

"[An] excellent collection."

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