n Conflict Trends - Consolidation is not the issue, It is the format that counts

Volume 2002 Number 4
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


In recent years the debate on transition theory and on "consolidation of democracy" has played an increasingly important role in political discourse - also on the continent of Africa. In a rather deterministic way, transition theory became the launching pad of the consolidation of democracy school and the two schools of thinking co-exist in a symbiotic - if not parasitic - way. Transition theorists wrote volumes on the (pre-) conditions for, and the processes and stages of, "transitioning" from authoritarian rule to democracy. Concurrently an extensive corpus of theoretical and even prescriptive material emanated (mostly from Western theorists) on the "third wave of democracy" - invariably understood to be transition from one-party state systems, authoritarian state systems and military regimes to western ideal-type multi-party democracy systems. Most of the literature in the field also made a close link between the transition of implied "underdeveloped"/"developing" states away from the inherited structures (the latter reflecting some inferiority compared to "advanced" democracies) to multi-party democracy and liberal-capitalism cum free-market economic systems. "Ambassadors for Democracy" were regularly visiting these "backward" states to advocate the inseparable link between political liberalization and economic liberalization (read: the imperative to impose multi-party states and free market economies suitable to "Global Economics").

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error