n African Security Review - Africa's Post-1990 Democratization Waves : a false dawn? : essay

Volume 12, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1024-6029
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This article argues that whereas the waves of democratization which enveloped the continent in the early 1990s following the collapse of Eastern European one-party socialism generated expectations of a 'new dawn' for 'good governance' and sustainable human development on the continent, one wave after another appears to have suffered serious setbacks. Indeed, a decade later, some of the most articulate pro-democracy leaders, who came into office on the crest of the democratic waves of the 1990s have sought to manipulate their countries' constitutions in order to perpetuate their presidential tenure. Such undemocratic behaviour will only fuel speculation in the industrialized world that the New Partnership for Africa's Development is just another decorative blue-print drawn up by beleaguered African despots in order to obtain new resource inflows at a time the international community under the hegemonic leadership of the United States will be wholly preoccupied with rebuilding post-Saddam Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian roadmap.

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