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Democratization in Africa: Progress and Retreat (Journal of Democracy Book)


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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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

Book News Annotation:

Diamond (a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution) and Plattner (vice president for research and studies, National Endowment for Democracy), who together co-edit the Journal of Democracy, have selected 21 essays published in the pages of that journal between 2007 and 2009 and added a handful of previously unpublished essays in order to produce this collection analyzing the state of democratization in sub-Saharan Africa. Thematic chapters explore such topics as presidential vs. legislative power, the institutionalization of political power, the decline of the military coup, economic growth without prosperity, and formal versus informal institutions. The remaining chapters provide analyses of individual countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Somaliland, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, and Zimbabwe. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

Diamond, Larry
Johns Hopkins University Press
Plattner, Marc F.
Africa Politics and government 1960-
Democracy -- Africa.
Political Process - General
Government - Comparative
Political Ideologies - Democracy
Politics - General
Edition Description:
Journal of Democracy Book
Publication Date:
8.90x5.90x1.00 in. 1.20 lbs.

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » International Studies
History and Social Science » World History » Africa
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution

Democratization in Africa: Progress and Retreat (Journal of Democracy Book) New Trade Paper
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Product details 360 pages Johns Hopkins University Press - English 9780801894848 Reviews:
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