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Politics of Democratization
Changing Authoritarian Regimes in sub-Saharan Africa
As organized groups took to the streets in a large number of the sub-Saharan states beginning in the late 1980s in protest against both the precarious socioeconomic conditions and the stifling one-party state apparatus prevalent in the region, this unprecedented mass discontent appeared set to herald the dawn of a new political era by foreing a shift from authoritarianism towards democracy. The unfolding events were welcomed and supported by the international donor dommunity eager to further extend the frontiers of liberalism. This book focusses on these processes of political reform in a representative group of sub-Saharan states where the democratization process has proved to be innovative, mediocre, chaotic, and highly deceptive as the case may be. By capturing these processes as an intra-elitist struggle for political power, the book underscores the significance of each strategy of democratization, the calculations which underlie the pressures for and the resistance to reform as well as the methods of expressing these as were made evident in the moves by all the major political players. Above all, the external inputs into this democratization and their conditionality are analyzed in the light of both their underlying interests and the outcomes of this politicized reform process.