n African Renaissance - Transition to democracy : the challenges and prospects of military intervention in the democratization of West African states

Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


This study seeks to critically examine and analyze the democratization process in West Africa with a view to identifying the overt and covert causes of the re-surfacing of military rule, a trend which reverses the democratic transition process in the sub region. The greatest challenge or the root cause of the sudden military intervention in the sub-region is the proliferation of hybrid political authoritarian regimes across much of the West Africa states, which honour power over reason, corruption over frugality and sham election over good governance. The study reveals that democracies in West Africa move in the direction of competitive authoritarianism and the conduct of periodic elections is also devoid of democratic values. Therefore, we conclude that the re-emergence of military coups in some West African states is not a destructive factor but a stimulating variable that set off the resumption and the sequence consolidation of democratic experiment and processes. Based on this premise, we recommend that ECOWAS should organize a biannual conference on good governance and establish an institute for democratic studies to educate key political actors, top military officers and policy makers on modern virtues and values of democracy as well as the vices of authoritarianism.

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