n African Security Review - Democracy in the SADC region - a comparative overview : essay

Volume 11, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1024-6029
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The purpose of this overview is to compare the state of democracy among SADC states. This is a region where electoral democracies increased significantly since 1989, but regular elections are necessary, not sufficient, to consolidate democracies. Socio-economic conditions as well as levels of freedom may be the missing links in this regard. Per capita incomes and human development indexes are combined to constitute an appropriate socioeconomic development axis (quantified, then ranked) which is then juxtaposed with institutional criteria (autocracy, electoral democracy and consolidation zone), and then ranked according to surveys on political rights and civil liberties, constituting the liberty index (these measurements are ranked relatively). Factors such as electoral systems and deeply divided versus homogeneous societies are also taken account of. This makes for a model of development and democracy in the region with Mauritius at the most consolidated end, and the DRC the furthest away. This methodology can be repeated regularly, indicating comparative trends within the region, over periods of time.

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