THE ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL ACTORS IN THE

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I





UNIVERSITY OF LINKÖPING

DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT AND ENGINEERING

DIVISION OF POLITICAL SCIENCE

MSSC IN INTERNATIONAL AND EUROPEAN RELATIONS




MASTER´S THESIS


THE


ROLE

OF INTERNATIONAL


ACTORS


IN

THE

DEMOCRATIZATION OF
SUB
-
SAHARAN AFRICA:

A CRITICAL APPRAISAL.




BY
;

SUPERVISOR
;

ASANDAK PAUL TANGU

HELEN LINDBERG



LINKÖPING,
SWEDEN

June

2012.

II


ABSTRACT


This research which is all abou
t a study of democracy using Sub
-
Saharan (SS)

Africa as a
case study, and international actors as key players, is aimed specifically at critically
examining the extent to which democracy is introduced into SS Africa by external players. To
guarantee authentic results an in
-
depth probe into the situati
on on the ground in SS Africa is
conducted, and which gives account of how democratization had hit a stall before the late
1980s, (early scope date for this thesis) because the new leaders who took over leadership
from the colonial masters in the 1960s had

become so autocratic and entrenched. The
accompanying woes which follow such systems of governments like wars, violence and
economic downturns, etc spurred a disorganized and less developed civil society into street
action yelling for democracy. Several
i
nternational actors who responded

to this cry all saw
democracy and good governance as the only sine qua non for any meaningful progress in the
sub
-
region and ever since embarked on several activities to promote it.


A simple qualitative methodological

approach is applied to elaborate on these policies
conducted by the various exte
rnal actors. Through this approach
, multiple sources of data
including primary and secondary sources are reviewed, and the data collected is placed side
-
by
-
side with the basic

tenets of democracy and analyzed and tested for compatibility. Results
after the final interpretations intimate that efforts at democratization in SS Africa by
international actors have been so vigorous though at varying degrees. As most actors were
since
re in the struggle to contribute in building a solid democratic SS Africa, others were busy
using democracy as an alibi for personal interest, while others contradicted development for
democracy.










III


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT


This thesis would not have become

a reality if not of the relentless inspirations,
unerring
support and words of encouragement from a number of persons during my years of st
udy at
the Linköping University in Sweden.


Firstly, my profound gratitude
goes to my supervisor Helen Lindberg of the Department of
Political Science for her important and insightful comments, valuable criticism, feedbacks and
patience to guide me go through this stressful research exercise.


Secondly, I am equally indebted
to the entire staff of International and European Relations
Programme for the support they accorded me, for without which I would not have gathered
the momentum to make this research a success. I also appreciate all my classmates and friends
for the enormo
us love and cooperation that they exhibited especially in the exchange of
reading materials.


Last but not the leas
t
, would want to extend special

thanks to my entire family especially
my father, Asandak Stephen, my sister, Asandak Glory and brother,
Asandak Isaac, not
leaving out some of my greatest all
-
time friends, Akanga Fidelis, Tanjoh Colins and
Bakwowi Jeshma for this marvelous breakthrough.


Finally, my greatest thanks go
es

to the Almighty God for given me life and strength to
carry forward my education to this level.











IV


TABLE OF CONTENT



I )



Abstract…………..

……………………………………………………………
.


ii


Ii )

Acknowledgement .
…………...
…………………………………………………
.
…. iii


Iii )

Table of Content …………………………………………………………...……
……. iv


iV)


List of Tables

………………………………………………………………………
....
vii


V)


List of A
cronyms
and Abbreviation ..………
……………………………………
..
..
..viii


Introduction

………………………
………………………………………………………………………… 1





CHAPTER ONE


1 : 1


Background study of region

………………
….
…………………………………
...
….3


1 : 2


Statement of Problem


……………………
..
………………………………
……
..
….
6


1 : 3


Methodology and work plan ………………….
..
………………………………

..

8


1 : 4


Scope and Limitation of study


………………
.
………………………………
……
10


1 : 5



Expected results and implication


…………
...
…………………………………
…..
11


1 : 6



Review of Literature …………………………

……………………
……………..
12




CHAPTER TWO



CONCEPT OF DEMOCRATISATION ……………………
……
…………
………………
………
13

2 : 1
Empirical outlook of democracy …………

………………………………
…………
13

2 : 2 Democracy and the African context ……
….
…………………………
………………
16

2 : 3 Democracy in a theoretical perspective …

…………………………………
………
20




2:

3 :
1
Approach as a universal concept …
……..……………………………………

20


2 :

3 : 2 Approach within an African model …
.
……………..
……………
.
……
.………
23


2 : 4


Why

the inc
onsistency in democracy in SS Africa ………………………
……
…….
27


2 :
5
International
A
ctors involved in the democratization of SS
Africa ………

………..
30


V





CHAPTER THREE




INTERNAL FORCES AS

CATALYST
………
………
………

.
………………
………

31

3 : 1 The Role o
f Civil Society……..……………………………
……………
……………
3
1

3 : 2 Local Me
dia ……………………………………………………………...
………….
33



CHAPTER
FOUR




INTERNATIONAL GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

(IGO) ……….

……….
36

4

: 1 International Mon
etary Fund (IMF) ………………..………………
……
…..
……
.

36


4

: 1 : 1 Policy

of Conditionality and Technical Assistance …
………

………..……
37


4

: 1 : 2 Structural Adjustment Programmes

(SAPs) ………
…………………
…….
…..
38

4

: 2 World Bank

(WB) …...……………...………
…………………………………….….40

4

: 3 United Nations Or
ganization (UNO) …………………………………
………
..
……
42


4

: 4 African Union (AU) …………………………………………………………
...
……
44

4

: 5 European Union (EU) ………………………………………………………
...
……
..46

4

: 6 Commonwealth of Nations ………………………………………………
...

..
……
49




CHAPTER FOUR



INTERNATIONAL NON
-
GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
(INGO) ………

51

5

: 1 Human Rights Watch (HRW) ……………………………………………
...
………..
51

5

: 2 Amnesty International (AI)……………………………………………
…...
…………
53


5

: 3

Mo Ibrahim Foundation …………………
………..………………………….
………
55


5

: 4 National Democratic
Institute (NDI) …………………..
……………………
………..
57







VI






CHAPTER FIVE





OTHER ACTORS ………………………………………………………………………

…………
59

6

: 1

Super powers
………………………………….…………………………
……………
59

6

: 2

Regional and neighbouring s
tates


………
….
…………………………………
……
60







CHAPTER SIX


7

:

1


General Analysis and discussion of problem …………………………………………
63


7

: 2 General theoretical rev
iew……………………………………
.
……………………

65


7

:

3

Prospects and Challenges
……………………………………………………………
..67





Conclusion
………………

……………………………………………
…………………
.……….
.70




List of Reference
s

……………………
……………………………………

..
………..
7
2

















VII



List of Tables

Table i:


Transition outcomes, SS Africa, December 1994

……………………………………
……………
17

Table ii:


How
African leaders left office, 1960


2003

………………………………………
………………
19



























VIII


ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS

AI
-
-----------

Amnesty International

AIDS
--------

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

AU


-
-------
-
-

African Union


BBC
---------

British Broadcasting Corporation

CEMAC
-----

Economic and Monetary Union of Central Africa

CFA
----------

Communauté financière d'Afrique

("Financial Community of Africa").

CFSP
--------


Common Foreign and Security Policy

CPI
----------

Corruption Perception Index


DPA
---------

Department of Political Affairs

DPKO
-------

Department of Peacekeeping Operation
s

ECCAS
------

Economic Community of Central African States

ECOWAS
---

Economic Community of West African States

Etc
-----------

Et cetera

EU
---
------
-
-

European Union

FM
-----------

Frequency Modulation

GDP

--
-------

Gross Domestic Product

GNP
---------
Gross National Product


HIPC
---------

Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative

HIV


--
--------
Human Immune

Virus

HRW
---------

Human Right Watch

IBRD
---------
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

IDA
----------

International Development Associaton

IGOs
----------

International Governmental Organizations

IMF

----------

International Monetary
Fund

INGOs
------


International Non
-
Governmental Organizations

IPCC
----------

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

IX


IOs
------------
International Organizations

LDCs
----------
Less Developed Countries

MDGs

---------

Millennium Development Goals

MNCs

---------

Multinational Corporations

NATO
---------
North Atlantic Treaty Organization


NGOs
----------

Non
-
Governmental Organization
s

OAU
---------

Organization of African Unity

OHCHR
------

Office
of the High Commis
sioner for Human Rights

PRSPs
----------
Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers

RFI
-------------

Radio France International

UK
-----------

United Kingdom

UNDEF
-------

United Nations Democracy

Fund

UNDP
---------

United Nations Development Programme

UNEP
----------

United Nations
Environment Programme

UNESCO
--------
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNHCR
--------
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

UNO
-----------
United Nations Organization

UNV
-----------

United Nations Volunteers

USA
-
----------
United States of America

SAPs
-----------

Structural Adjustment
Programmes/
Policies

SADC
---------

Southern African Development Community

SS Africa
------

Sub
-
Saharan Africa

WAEMU
------

West African Economic and Monetary Union

WHO

-----------

World Health Organization

WTO
------------

World Trade



WWI/WWII
----

World War I
/World War

II
1


INTRODUCTION


Several external actors are today involved in the democratization process in SS Africa
1
, a
region of Africa sub of the Saharan desert, comprising forty
-
nine countries
. The attention of
the actors was turned to the region as from the late

1980s and early 1990s because the area
was hard
-
hit by a severe economic crisis,

diseases and famine, coups and wars;

which was
subsequently accompanied by ma
ssive street protests, violence and strikes. Coupled to these,

it coincided with the demise of fo
rmer Soviet Union and end of Cold War, making this region
the only

international

political hotspot at the time. As a prelude to the involvement of external
actors, SS African countries had been firmly in the grip of entrenched authoritarian leaders
who had

over
-
turned the vibrant multiparty system bequeathed to the sub
-
region by their
colonial masters before leaving in the late 1950s and early 60s. Their patrimonial and
dictatorial rule resulted to so many adverse effects like widespread corruption, human r
ights
violations, limited freedom of speech, assembly, belief and press, absence of the rule of law,
flawed and/or limited electoral processes or even none at all as was the case in several
countries, etc. These negative impacts generated the subsequent cr
isis which necessitated the
involvement of external bodies for a remedy.


International actors involved in this sub
-
region include IGOs, INGOs and individual states
and regional bodies. They carry out some activities like good governance policy, econo
mic
and political structural adjustment policies, peacekeeping, peace building policies, monitoring
cease fires, election supervision, use of force, implementation of the rule of law, human rights
promotion, etc. So in an attempt to probe into these activi
ties so as to know the extent to
which they could promote democracy in SS Africa, we start to realized that documented
information greatly narrows down, meaning very less research has been done in that direction.
Therefore the main aim of this research

wor
k is to

try to fill this gap by

identify these actors,
elaborate what policies they have been carrying as far as democracy is concerned
, and

finally
coming to a critical conclusion whether such activities have so far been beneficial in
promoting democracy or not
. My main reason for making this inquiry is because

several of
the internatio
nal actors involved in the democratization process

in SS
Africa
,
originate
s
fr
om



1

It should be noted that in our study of democratization in SS Africa we shall view the meaning of democracy
as encompassing not only a minimalist el
ectoral form characterized by the presence of regular, competitive,
free and fair multiparty elections, but also a wider free and pluralistic system where the elected enjoy true
power to govern; where the executive power to govern is not arbitrary but cons
trained constitutionally; where
all other groups are allowed to participate in politics and/or have the freedom and pluralism to present their
views outside politics, in Civil Society and where there is an effective rule of law to protect individuals freed
oms
of belief, opinion, speech, publication, assembly, petition, etc. (Diamond 1997, p.3).

2


the west and their activities overseen by them, and there have

always been this conspiracy
theory

put forward

by
some

African
scholars, politicians and media accusing the west of
double standards and
neo
-
colonialism
in Africa, an a
ct
which is associated with economic,
political,
and socio
-
cultural exploitation;

and which according to them is one of the main
obstacles

to the

slow rate

of democracy and development

in SS Africa
. So by x
-
raying the
activities of these international acto
rs,

clues would surely emerge from which we can reach

rational
con
clusions
on whether these
accusations are correct or false.


Methodologically, this research topic is an applied and empirical one and the approach I
am going to use is the qualitative
paradigm. By this approach, I am going to be limited only in
the collection, analyzing and interpretation of data. After some preliminary literature review, I
realized that reliable data and information in this field is very limited though covering a
multi
ple of sources including primary and secondary. So with my research design, I am going
to be very flexible and open in my data collection and analysis, applying inductive reasoning
whenever and to be so subjective in my interpretation since it is difficult

to come out with
concise and accurate measurable analyses and results like in quantitative research. To obtain
my results, I plan to come out with a clear and concise meaning of democracy from whence I
will use to compare and test for compatibility with t
he data on the policies of the actors, and
from there I will
know whether they are

aimed at promoting democracy or not.

The entire
research is nevertheless explained using some different theories in IR,


This thesis has been formally arranged into different headings for easy understanding.
Apart from the Abstract, Acknowledgement, List of Acronyms and Abbreviations, List of
Tables, Table of Content and Introduction a
t the beginning, and Conclusion an
d List of
References

at the end,

the work is divided into chapters and sub
-
chapters. Chapter one acts
like an introduction to Social sci
entific research and comprises seven sub
-
chapters. Chapter
t
wo titled the Concept of Democratization, introduces the to
pic of study and comprises five
sub
-
headings. Chapter three introduces other forces from within that equally have much
stakes including the civil society and local media. Chapter four focuses on the work of
international actors in the sub
-
region and

more p
recisely the IGOs while c
h
apter five dwells
on INGOs and c
hapter six on other actors which are neither IGOs n
or INGOs. Chapter seven

evaluate
s

the overall activities of the actors and tries to point out those challenges that faces
SS Africa in its bid to b
ecome one democratic region of the world
,

and closes with possible
solutions to these challenges and a w
ay forward.

3


CHAPTER ONE

1

:

1 Background Study of R
egion


SS Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of African continent south of the
Sahara desert. It is made up of forty
-
nine of the fifty
-
four nations which makes the continent.
The other part is the Muslim North which includes Morocco, Egypt, Libya, Algeria and
Tunisia. The region of SS Africa is known as black Africa in reference to i
ts too many black
pop
ulations which numbered at approximately one billion in 2011
2
. The Sahel is the
transitional zone which separate
s the tropical savanna and semi
-
desert of North Africa with
the forest savanna of SS Africa. Climatically, the region is ma
de up of about four different
ecological breaks which include

the desert climate of the Sahara and the horn of Africa
(Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti), the semi
-
arid climate of the Sahel, the tropical
climate of Central and Western Africa and the
transitional semi
-
tropical and temperate
climates of Southern Africa. The topography of this region is diversified with plains,
highlands and mountains. The Kilimanjaro
Mountain

(5.895m above sea level) located in
Tanzania is the highest point while Lake Asal (153m below sea level) is the lowest
3
.


Economically, the region according to the UN Human development Report of 2003
4
, is
the poorest in the world with twenty
-
five of

its nations ranked lowest among the one hundred
and seventy
-
five
countries reviewed. The
economy
relies

mostly on agriculture for its upkeep.
Agriculture represents 20% to 30% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 50% of its
export. Industrialization an
d advanced technology is still at its infancy and most
manufacturing is in light
-
weight products such as food processing, brewery, paper, chemicals,
plastics, etc. 50% of the region is rural with no access to electricity and has just barely 0.6%
of global
market share of electricity and most of it generated by hydropower. There is acute
shortage of road infrastructure and
s
pending on roads averages just 2% of GDP with varying
degree among countries. Other systems of communication such as the railway, airway
s and
shipping are also not well developed. The region has one of the richest mineral deposits in the
world, with minerals such as gold, copper, uranium, chrome, bauxite, iron ore, manganese,
etc, produced and exported in large scale. One
-
third of global o
il reserve is found here and
production has been gathering strong momentum, The oil and mineral sector, coupled with



2

http://exploredia.com/africa
-
population
-
2011/


3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Africa


4

Check out for UNDP Human Development Report;
http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/gl
obal/hdr2003/

4


other factors like diversified economies and improved global trade has in recent years
generated a dramatic and positive shift in
the econo
mic growth of this sub
-
region.


Socially, SS Africa is home to some of the world´s most deadliest diseases

such as
malaria, tuberculosis,
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and Human Immune
Virus (HIV). The region tops the list of countries

or territories by fertility rate and though
more than 40% of the population is younger than fifteen, child mortality remains very high
5
.
However in recent years national and international health
-
care reforms and efforts have
resulted to more efficient and

equitable provision of health services all over the entire sub
-
region. The fight against malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS has been made a top priority in the
health policy of most of the countries of the region. In education, poverty, conflicts and lack
of
basic schooling facilities and educators had had a devastating impact on literacy rate in the
sub
-
region. According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO)`s report of 2000
6
, just 52% of school
-
age children were enrolle
d in primary
schools with a higher level of participation by boys than girls in most countries. More than 40
million children, almost half the school
-
age child population receive no schooling and for
those who receive, four out of ten did not complete prim
ary school in 2002/2003, this being
due to poor education policies and weak regulating mechanisms. However, the holding in
2010 of the World Education Forum and the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs) induced some hopes.


Politically
, the region is home to forty
-
nine sovereign and independent states each of
which is ruled by a sovereign government and each with a unique history of colonial
domination. Before the arrival of the colonialists and subsequently democracy, it had been
inhab
ited by as many as thousands of political organizations and polities, most of which
included small family groups and roving bands of hunter
-
gatherers scattered all over the
forests, savannah and deserts. They had no clear
-
cut geo
-
political boundaries and i
n many
areas, the populations formed strings of dynastic
states and kingdoms. Jealousy, c
onflicts over
lands and political supremacy dominated the daily lives of these early people and always
culminated to constant break
-
ups and migrations prior to the arr
ival of the Europeans, who
came in different intervals. The first arrival of Europeans to SS Africa as from the 14
th

century were explorers whose presence was felt only around the coastal regions and in
isolated areas of natural attraction. The second Euro
pean Arrival Started from the 16
th

through



5

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_fertility_rate

6

Check out for full UNESCO
Report 2000;
http://www.unesco.org/education/information/wer/


5


the 17
th

and 18
th

centuries, when European mercantilism and imperialism in Asia and the
Americas had led to the opening of vast plantations to supply raw materials to the massive
industrialization that had begun i
n Europe. Due to
shortage of man
-
power,

trade in slaves

was
introduced
. Africa was the immediate breeding ground and the European traders had to whisk
and ship away more than Ten

million
7

able men and woman from SS Africa to these
plantations. An internati
onal condemnation about the morality of the trade finally brought it to
a halt in the late 18
th

century. The third phase of European involvement in SS Africa was from
the 1880s, this time they partitioned the entire continent into colonies, and for almost a
century, they exercised a firm political and economic control over the people. This was the
t
urning point in the history of Africa since theoretically two important ideas came into play.
Firstly, the Westphalian concept of state sovereignty, territorial integrity and the principle of
non
-
intervention was introduced as political and geographical bo
undaries were drawn (Jan
Nederveen Pieterse 1992
)
and secondly, it ushered in the idea of democracy.


The process of democratization in SS Africa could also be examined in different phases;
The first phase was in late 1950s as countries engaged in the

struggle for national
independence while the second phase was in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the entire
continent rose up in a concerted manner to clamour for democratization and good governance
from the entrenched autocratic and repressive politi
cal leaders who had taken over from the
colonial masters. The electoral processes in the 1950s varied from colony to colony in
accordance with the whims and caprices of the colonial master in charge. Any attempts at
competitive elections were done under th
e auspices and design of the colonial powers, from
whose perspective it was a form of ´tutelary` democracy that Africans were supposed to learn
as a precondit
ion for independence (

Lindberg 2006,

p
p9). Pre
-
independence leaders such as
Kwame Nkrumah, Kennet
h Kaunda, Julius Nyerere, Leopold Senghor and Njomo Kenyatta,
accelerated and forced the process leading to the holding of national elections much earlier, a
situation which hastened the exit of most of the colonial masters right up to the 1960s. The
new A
frica that emerged was controlled by new system of governments and administrations
headed by some of these indigenous leaders who tried to approach the double task of national
development and national integration by insisting on national uniformity, a situ
ation which set
into motion a reversal towards autocracy and repression across the continent. By means of
election, merger or coercion, the vibrant multiparty system of politics which began at the
onset gradually came to a halt and more than 20 one
-
party r
egimes were rapidly formed



7

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=
20080219044020AAvpZRH


6


across Africa and the era of military coups was initiated
8
. They attempted to justify this shift
towards single
-
party rule by claiming that it was more suitable for economic development and
nation building, projects that became v
ery necessary following decolonization and citing that
multi
-
party politics would only lead to ethnic conflicts (Adejumobi 2000). This era of
repression continued until the early 1990s when the second wave of democratization began
associated with the coming

into stage of most of the international actors that we are going to
find in this study. So this research will focus more on this second phase of democratization
which started in the late 1980s and early 1990s.



1:2 Statement of Problem


The study of political change in Africa still suffers from inadequate theoretical
specifications, methodological rigor, and, perhaps most of all insufficient collection of data
suitable for co
mparative analysis (
Lindberg, 2006, p4).If we compare the sit
uation in Africa
with
t
he extensive research on democracy

in Europe, Latin Ame
rica, Asia and North America
we will realize

Africa has received far less attention especially during the period before and
after1990s

which is the focus of this thesis;

and ver
y little too have been said about the
presence and/or role of international
actors who had started focusing their attention in this
region during this period following the demise of the Soviet Union and Communism in 1989
.

From that period
, so many intern
ational bodies have been directly

and indirectly involved in
the

process of democratization, performing tasks and functions that has not been coherently
described, discussed and questioned. So the main aim of this piece of research work is to
identify thes
e actors, elaborate what policies they have been carrying as far as democracy is
concerned and then
finally
coming to a
critical
conclusion whether such activities have so far
been beneficial in promoting democracy or not. To successfully realize this work
, light must
first of all be shed on the extent of democracy in this region, how it has been carried, why it
has been taking different trajectories and what attract the involvement of international actors.




The relevance of this research topic to the
academic world and to IR cannot

be
overemphasized.
ln this era of globalization, events and activities are becoming more complex
and multidimensional. Global governance has become the main system used by international
political actors to run world affairs.

Politics, economics and social activities all are getting



8

Ibid. pp10.

7


more interconnected and interwoven. On the other side the international actors themselves
work almost in an interconnected and complex network; civil society with media, military
with civilians, hu
man rights activists with donors, regional bodies with peacekeepers, etc,. So
here w
ith democracy as the converging

point, this research would throw light on the
increasing complexity of activities by international actors to achieve the goal of
democratiza
tion. In order to come to a satisfactory conclusion, this researcher is going to
employ some theories in International Relations (IR) patterning to this topic in question
during the data collection, management, analyzing, evaluation and interpretation. Als
o, these
theories working as conceptual frameworks would be used to probe into the empirical part
of
democracy in Sub Saharan Africa and conclusions shall be drawn only from the salient events
that relate to the theories involved.


My choice of this t
opic

came as a result of

the fact that several of the international actors
involved in democracy in SS Africa

originates

fr
om the west and their activities overseen

by
them, and there had always been this conspiracy theory

put forward

by some contemporary

African
scholars, politicians and media accusing the west of neo
-
colonialism
and double
standards
in Africa which is associated with economic, political, s
ocial and cultural
exploitation;

and which according to them is one of the main obstacles

to the

slo
w rate

of
democracy and development

in SS Africa
. So by x
-
raying the activities of these international
actors,

clues would surely emerge from which we can reach

rational
con
clusions
on whether
these accusations of double standards and
/or ineffectiveness
are correct or false.




For this piece of work to be described as successful, it has to effectively prove that it can
identify the region of SS Africa, the extent
and system
of democracy practiced there, why the
difficulties to correctly emulate the type of democracy found in the west, which international
actors are involved there, who they are, when and how they operate as far as democratization
is concerned and finally criti
cally examining whether the policies they carry encourages
and/
or discourages democracy and good governance. This last point is coming to light
because several authors, local politicians and media houses in recent years have
also
critici
zed
many internatio
nal

bodies such as the IMF, UN and Super powers over their rolls in political
and economic developments in the less developed countries (LDC) as shroud with personal
interest and double standards. A recent clear example could be seen in the March 17, 2011
UN Resolution 1973 on Libya, authorizing the international community to establish a no
-
fly
zone and to use all means possible short of military occupation to protect Libya civilians from
their brutal former leader Moummar Ghaddafi. However, in practice the

mission turned out to
8


be one of regime change championed by Britain, France and the United States (US). Other
examples could also be seen in the IMF policies in the LDC which at times are described as
controversial and bias, and much d
etested by the small
er states.




In order

to properly probe into the activities of international actors in SS Africa, we have to
take each actor at a time, briefly examine its overall efforts at democratization in the sub
-

region and then making

some analysis citing a numbe
r of countries as examples.



1 : 3 Research Methodology and Designs



Methodology

is generally a guideline for solving a research problem, with specific
components such as phases, tasks, methods, techniques and tools.

As such,

methodology

may
entail a
description of generic processes,

philosophical concepts or theories
related to a
particular

discipline

or a field under study.
A research design on the other hand is a plan,
structure and strategy of investigation so conceived as to obtain answers to
research questions
or problems. It includes an outline of what the investigator will do from writing the
hypothesis and their operational implications to the final analysis

of data (Ranjit
2011, p.94
on Kerlinger 1986).


Critically examining the role o
f international actors in the democratization of SS Africa is
an empirical and applied research topic and the approach l am going to employ is mainly the
qualitative paradigm as oppose to quantitative. Qualitative techniques in the social sciences
and also

in this research shall involve the use of methodology or the collection, analyzing and
interpretation of data. This technique generally falls under the interpretivist approach and
from a radical stand point of the approach, reality does not exist beyond t
he (relative and
partial) images the various actors have of it. Knowing the reality is therefore impossible and
scholars should focus on the meaning

through empathetic knowledge (
Porta, Donatello &
Keating, 2008, p.25). Apart from the analyses of tables, f
igures and graphs, very little
emphasis is going to be paid on the use of variables and/or use of numbers and accurate
measurement in the general analysis since they work best with the quantitative paradigm. In
this regard, being a descriptive study, and a
ccording to the research design to be used in my
data collection, l am going to first of all locate the region of SS Africa, identify which
international actors are involved in the democratization process there, describe what policies
they undertake as far

as democracy is concerned and then critically testing the data collected
9


with the basic tenets of democracy to know whether they are compatible or not. After testing
this data, is from thence that we could deduce whether the activities of the actors in th
e area
had been meant for the promotion of democracy or for other purposes and/or interest.


Taking into account the limited availability of reliable data and information, and
considering the fact that all along l will be striving to maintain flexibili
ty, openness and
freedom, l will primarily apply inductive reasoning during the data collection; try to formulate
the problem several times by including new ideas and excluding old ones which l could later
find not relevant. And because it is very difficul
t to come out with concise and accurate
measurable analyses and results, facts, ideas and observed phenomenon l will be more
subjective in my interpretations. I will collect my data from multiple sources including
secondary and primary, some of which inclu
des interviews, lecture materials, focus groups,
oral history, participant observation, books, academic journals, articles, etc. With the
exception of primary sources, a majority of my secondary sources (books, journals and
articles) data have been gotten
from libraries and the internet.


The multiplicity of the sources of my information shall make it possible for me to first of all
be able to compare, check and evaluate different sources against each other so as to achieve
the best results and secondly t
o be able to draw conceptual frameworks of the different
aspects of the problem that l use in my investigation. After reviewing all available literature
and after cross
-
checking and comparing the different sources l realized that the situation in SS
Africa

had been one of democratic transition and in that vein l came up with some theories
such as

realism/classical realism to explain the persistency of authoritarianism in SS Africa,
and liberalism, institutionalism and social constructivism theories to expla
in transition
towards democracy through the efforts of international actors.



The exercise has nevertheless been so stressful as going through the literatures found in
different locations had been so daunting and time consuming, and my flexibility and
freedom
in choice of materials have started creating me much problems in terms of comparability and
evaluation of the information gathered.


1 : 4 Scope and Limitation of Study



This
research topic ´´The Role of International Actors in the Democratization of SS Africa:
A Critical Appraisal, covers an impressive array of issues in democratization in Africa and
10


governmental and non
-
governmental bodies. It is all about a study of democrac
y using SS
Africa as a case study, and international actors as key players. To make it more explicit, l
would put the explanations as answers to the questions; what, who, when and how ?


What:

In social sciences to know what a research question is we mus
t first o
f all recognize
the existence

of an issue, situation, problem or phenomenon that requires answers or
solutions. So in our case of SS Africa there is the problem of authoritarianism. Attempts by
local citizens at liberalization through elections an
d other democratic means have always met
stiff resistance, and couple to that, bad governance and poor managements has completely
weakened and destroyed the economies thereby bringing economic woes to add to those of
politics. The resulting consequences ha
s been the conspicuous appearance of post
-
election
violence, coups, civil wars, diseases, famine, etc; ills whose solutions are beyond the control
of the local people and thereby necessitating the involvement of external bodies to mitigate.


Who:

Here we
have to identify those who constitute the study population. Our scope of
study here shall focus first on the people of SS Africa especially the civil society and the
governments and
then
on the state and non
-
state actors who directly or indirectly involve
in
the democratic crisis that have been plaguing the sub
-
region.


When:

The scope of this study shall cover the period from the late 1980s to present. This is
because at this time and for the first time since independence, the people of SS Africa
concerte
dly rose up to challenge the entrenched authoritarianism that had kept them under
suppression by means of massive riots and strike actions; and during this time too, the Soviet
Union and Communism had witnessed their demise and internatio
nal politics conse
quently

shift
ed

to this region as it became the most pressing political hotspot at the time.

How:

Efforts at democratizing SS Africa have been championed by international players with
the assistance of local civil society. Methods applied by international
actors includes, good
governance policy, economic and political structural adjustment policies, peacekeeping, peace
building policies, monitoring cease fires, election supervision, use of force, implementation of
the rule of law, human rights promotion, et
c.


This study is nevertheless limited only to SS Africa, excluding the Arab
-
north of Africa. It
investigates only democracy and democracy
-
oriented activities including general dynamics in
the entire democratization process in the sub
-
region and
involves

only the afore
-
mentioned
11


international bodies and the domestic governments and civil society. The timeframe is from
late 1980s till present.


1 : 5 Expected
Results and lmplication
s




After
going through all the regular processes of data collection,
data management and
processing, data evaluation and analyzing, and data interpretation, l will finally come to
expected results. To achieve this, l will carefully compare the compatibility of the final data
with the basic tenants of democracy. From the com
parism, l will be able to deduce whether
the results obtained are for democracy or not. Such results must also be able to answer some
questions like the following;



Is there any democracy in SS Africa?



If yes, why is it always marred by violence?



Are all th
e activities of the external actors democracy
-
oriented?



If no, the other part of the activities is for what purpose?




What could explain for the regular post
-
election violence and civil wars in SS
African?



From the results obtained, l will go further

to evaluate its implications to the wider
political scene and to Africa. Most of the external actors are from the west, and in Africa,
most activities that are conduct
ed by the west are always viewed

with suspicion
-

suspicion
of neo
-
colonialism and/or

d
ouble standards.

T
here is always this blame game where any
political failure must have a scapegoat, in which the
western countries are usual

victims

too
.
So judging from the situation on the ground and from
the
final implications,

we are going to
uncover truth which will help finally put

this issue

of suspicion and blame to rest.


Lastly, the results gathered could be used for policy formation by governments and
organizations, for administrative purpose, and for the enhancement of the understanding of a
phenomenon in descriptive study.




12


1 : 6 Literature Review




As far as democracy in SS Africa is concerned, not enough literature has been written on it
co
mpared to other regions of its
calibre in the world, not to talk of the activities of external
actors there. The only few available literature is nevertheless wr
itten mostly by African
scholars and which frequently lacks in consistency. The vast majority of materials found are
written on democracy in general. Many of the external players working on the
democrati
zation process in Africa

also
have

a wide volume of l
iterature which covers mostly
their global operations and outlook,
and narrowing down when it comes to SS Africa.

In this
regard, l went in for multiple sources to search for data including primary and secondary
source
, some of which includes interviews, l
ecture materials, focus groups, books, journals,
articles, etc. With the exception of primary sources, a majority of my secondary source data
(books, journals and articles) have been gotten from libraries and online book stores in the
internet.


Literat
ure for the entire thesis is very diversified and broad since the research topic too
covers a very wide area. Major areas of literature review include; democracy
(in

general and
Africa in particular), the individual actors, IOs, the different theories of I
R, and research
methodology. During my search, l however came across certain books which deal on issues
that encompass democracy in SS Africa to the activities of most of these external pla
yers.
Such works includes Larry

J. Diamond (19
97), Hyden Goran (200
6), Peter

Gibbon, Yusuf
Bangura
and Arve Ofstad (1992) and Rita

Kiki Edozi (2009). Most of these materials are
previously published works and

have been peer reviewed and I found most of them

online
in
bookstores. l have been scanning over the internet too
for general knowledge on several key
areas of my topic though. The structuring of my literature has been taking some order similar
to that put forth by Neil Murray and Geraldine Hughes (2009) such as;



Grouping texts (articles, chapters, books, etc) accordi
ng to the similarity of their ideas
,
and commenting on the main ideas rather than paraphrasing or simply quoting them.
.



Grouping studies that focus on similar phenomena or share similar methodologies.



Comparing and contrasting the different studies, view
points, methodologies, etc, and
identifying for the reader those which have the greatest bearing on my resear
ch


My primary sources are however very limited because accessibility, cost and time does
not permit me to have much of it. The wide variety in

Libraries,

internet and other sources

suffice
s though.

13


CHAPTER TWO

CONCEPT OF DEMOCRATIZATION

2 : 1

Empirical Outlook of D
emocracy


Democracy is an aged
-
old word of Greek origin which was coined from `demos´ meaning
people and `kratos´ meaning rule or governing, making its original definition to sum up as
rule or government by the people
9
. While there have not been any contemporar
y universally
accepted definition for democracy because of its different moral, social and political agendas,
it is generally seen as a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the
people and exercised directly by them or by their elected

agents under a periodically free
electoral system. It is underpinned by the principles of equality and freedom and works on the
assumption tha
t the people must be sovereign;

that the legitimacy of the state is created by
the will or consent of its people who are the source of all political power. As a concept, its
principles of equality and freedom ensures that all citizens are equal before the law and
having equal access to
legislative and electoral processes, right to life and happiness, equal
opportunities, equal gender rights, ethnic rights, right to training and jobs, right to free choices
such as clothing, music, religion, education, movements, books, movies, marriage,
rights for
animals, children, ecosystem, etc., in short, virtually in all areas of life and not only in
governments and states. It upholds majority rule or majority vote as the basis of every
decision though on the other hand it recognizes certain values w
hich ensures that the majority
does not oppress the minority and have as tenets the ideals of humanism and individual
recognition and respect.


Several scholars hold conflicting views on the definition and operation of democracy and
their arguments depe
nds on whether as Alex Woolf (2005 p4) puts it, is it democracy that
concerns us as individuals such as what to eat, what to wear, wh
ere to sleep, etc, or making

decision as members of a group be it our family, school, neighbourhood or our country. It
woul
d also depend on the type of democracy unanimously accepted by a people. Writer
s

like
Vanhanen (1984a) look at it as a political system in which diff
erent

groups are legally entitled
to compete for power and in which institutional power holders are elected

by the pe
ople and
are
responsible for the people. Similarly, David Held (2006) holds that it is a form of
government in which in contradistinction to monarchies, aristocracies, the people rule.
Democracy entails a political community in which there is som
e form of political equality. On



9

http://democracy
-
handbook.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page


14


the other hand Schmitter & Karl, (1991) believe it to be a system of governance in which
rulers are held accountable for their actions in the public realm by citizens, acting indirectly
through the competition and cooperati
on of their elected representatives. However, to a pupil
in the primary school, he or she will tell you it is a government of the people, for the people
and by the people. So the definitions abound and all depend on the political, social and
economic setup

around which each scholar conducts his or her research.



Two major types of democracy exist; direct and representative democracies.

Direct
democracy which functions best in a small socio
-
political set
-
up is a system where the
citizens participate in
the decision
-
making personally, rather than relying on intermediaries or
representatives. A direct democracy gives the voting population the power to change
constitutional laws, participate in referendums, etc
.

On the contrary, representative

democracy

is

founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people
. Arend
Lijphart (1999), argues that representative system of democracy is the most commo
nly
practiced system among the western n
ations today, and went further to divide the system into

two
models;

the Westminster and the Consensus. He stressed tha
t the Westminster model,
the

model in the United Kingdom (UK) and New Zealand has a two
-
party unicameral legislature
with a majoritarian system of election, interest groups plurality, no judici
al review, enough
constitutional flexibility but a government which is very centralized and dominated by the
c
abinet. On the other hand, the Consensus model

tries to strike a balance in power sharing
between the executive and the legislature. This system w
hich is popular among democracies
like Belgium and
Switzerland

is characterized by a multi
-
party bicameral legislature,
constitutional rigidity, proportional representation, judicial review, interest group corporation
and a federal or dece
ntralized form of

government. Lijphart

ended up remarking that most
democracies of the world today including the US and most European nation, falls ´in
between` the two models
, finally

contending

that consensus democracies when contrasted
with the Westminster or majoritari
an arrangements, are ´´kinder, gentler`` types of
institutional settings
10
.


Democracy is not just a system of government that is established and then forgotten. It is
a kind of culture that requires constant nurture and care, and which needs the right conditions,
institutions
and traditions for it to

continue to exist. These insti
tutions of democracy are
defined by law, while the traditions evolve from history and cultural habits and are harder to



10

Ibid. pp 301
-
302.

15


define.

If we do not actively keep democracy alive with debate and free elections it will die.
Some of these institutions and traditions

that act as a foundation for a strong democratic
structure includes ; impartial and independent courts
, a good constitution, a legislature elected
by the people, an open administration with a system of checks and balances, a strong civil
society, free pre
ss, free movement, rule of law, strong Police force, political parties, secured
and recognized borders, good infrastructure network, universal suffrage, elections by secret
ba
llots, open debates,

a working or middle class, a liberalized market system, soc
ial services,
an educated population and a culture of tolerance and openness especially against minorities
amongst others. These democracy´s institutions, traditions and laws altogether sum up to form
the liberal ideology, the main axis on which proponents

of modern democracy or the Western
powers evolves.


Often some of these institutions and conditions of democracy contradict one another, and
it is through these “clashes” that democracy works. For instance, the free press and the
government tend to disagree frequently. There may be different and confl
icting interests at
stake on certain issues, freedom of speech being one example. On the one hand, it is
fundamental to a working and healthy democracy that people can speak openly and honestly
about anything without fear. On the other hand, it is damaging

to a society if that right of free
speech is abused and used to pro
mote hate and violence. In such a
case, civil society starts to
fall apart and democracy is threatened.


Since the introduction of democracy, it had never been easy to sustain it and on several
occasions over the years, it had almost gone out of existence. The most major threats to
democracy include wars and terrors brought about by totalitarian regimes.

Totalitarian
ideologies such as Fascism, Nazism and Communism used the populist strategies and almost
overran and rid the world of democracy during and after the two world wars of 1914 and
1939. Gangs, mafias and local militias´ use of violence also help
to compound the situation.
Other menaces includes; corruption,
chauvinism and racism, religious extremism,

trafficking,
dictatorship,
totalitarian capitalism, an uncontrolled market economy, superficial and shallow
media,
terrorism, censorship,

lack of edu
cation, corporatism, etc.



It could however be concluded that after all democracy is not only important, it is vital
simply because we are all humans, we need freedom and equality, in short, we all deserve to
live in a democracy that works.


16


2 : 2

Democracy and the African C
ontext


Democracy was introduced to SS Africa for the first time by the European imperialists
by the middle of the 20
th

century just at a time that the entire region was preparing for
nationhood
11
. The first generation o
f indigenous African leaders who took over the mantle of
leadership from the colonialists were regularly elected through free and fair multi
-
party
elections introduced and overseen by these colonial masters. In a bid to galvanize national
development and n
ational integration, they started insisting for national uniformity, a decision
which saw the transformation of the vibrant multiparty politics that prevailed in Africa at the
time into one
-
party politics. The resulting effect was that an entrenched autocr
atic and
repressive political system gripped the entire sub
-
continent, an effect which later acted like a
catalyst and provided the incentives and legitimacy for the popular concerted struggles for
democratization and good governance that took place in the

late 1980s and 1990. Before these
revolutions, the economic, political and social situation
s

in SS Africa had rapidly deteriorated
.

Their foreign debt had reached 290 billion dollars in 1992 and average GDP growth rates for
all the countries fell from 6.1
% in 1965
-
73 to 2.1% in 1980
-
89
12
. The region became the most
debt
-
distressed region in the world and debt servicing began to drain massive resources.
Credit lines were closed as many countries could no longer pay for imports and foreign
reserves were sever
ely depleted. Expenditures on health and social services declined by 26%,
educational institutions deteriorated to unprecedented levels and governments could no longer
pay salaries. Crimes, violence, riots, prostitution, and social atavism increased as it
became
more and more difficult for rural and urban people t
o survive, etc. (Bamidele

(ed)1999: p,68).


Enkindled by the afore
-
mentioned factors and coupled with a new
-
found culture of
nationalis
m that had sprung up in the sub
-
region at the time, the
masses led by civil society,
university students and civil servants, massively took to the streets of big cities demanding
good governance, multi
-
party politics and regime change in separate cases. Thi
s clamour for
democratic change
which had been referred

to as the ´´second wave of
independence``
(
Conteh
-
Morgan, 1997) or the ´´wind of change``, sparked off in the West African country of
Benin in late 1989
,

and then after
,

swooped through the entire continent like wild fire. Just
between January 1990 and Ju
ly 1992, thirteen African Heads of States had been replaced, four



11

The history of elections in Africa even started as early as 1848 when a few ´´assimilated`` Africans in Senegal
were able to vote for a depute, a parliamentary representative to the French National Assembly (Hayward
1987,p1). Ruth Collier (1982) also add
that the few elections held before 1945 were highly exclusive affairs
conducted among small elites in a few major cities.

12

Ibid. pp.63

17


of them


the Presidents of Benin, Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Zambia


were voted out of
office, others such as Siad Barre of Somalia and Mengistu Haile Marian of Ethiopia had to
flee while th
e autocratic Samuel Doe of Liberia was murdered in the Liberian Civil War. The
democratic struggles triggered constitutional and political changes and reforms in many
countries compelling the holding of elections and granting of civil and political freedom

including multi
-
party system of politics
.
By 1994, forty
-
one out of the forty
-
seven countries
of SS Africa had been affected and had undergone significant political reforms and/or regime
changes
. The table below expatiates on this:

Table i: Transition o
utcomes, SS Africa, December 1994

Precluded

Transitions (2)

Blocked

Transitions (12)

Flawed

Transitions (12)

Democratic
Transitions (16)


Liberia and

Sudan


Somalia, Burundi,

Rwanda, Ethiopia,

Guinea, Nigeria,

Zaire, Uganda,

Angola, Sierra Leone,

Chad and Tanzania.



Cameroon, Djibouti,
Burkina Faso, Gabon,

Cote d´lvoire, Kenya,

Mauritius, Swaziland,

Comoros, Ghana,

Togo and


Equatorial Guinea,


Benin, Cape Verde,

Guinea Bissau, Mali,

Lesotho, Namibia,

Mozambique, Congo,
Zambia, Madagascar,
Sout
h Africa, Malawi,
Sao Tome, Seychelles,

Niger and

Central African Rep.

Source: Michael Bratton and Nicolas Van de Walle (1997: p.20).


From the above table, precluded transitions comprised countries that could not make any
way forward because they were embroiled in armed conflicts and/or civil
strives.
Countries in
blocked transitions witnessed the launching of reforms which were never
fully realized. While
flawed transitions involved countries where incumbents yielded to oppositions´ demands for
reforms and elections but later used their incumbency powers to exploit and manipulate the
electoral laws, monopolized campaign resources or in
terfered with the polls. By 1994, the
only five pre
-
existing democracies added up to the sixteen that emerged from democratic
transition to make twenty
-
one out of the forty
-
seven countries of SS Africa that could be said
to have obtained a minimum attribut
e of democracy. As of today, significant progress have
been made by Ghana under President John Ata Mills, Nigeria under Goodluck Jonathan,
18


Liberia under Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Rwanda under Paul Kagame to upgrade their
countries to major democracies in t
he continent.


One of the most contending issues in the democratization process in SS Africa has been
that
of election. Even though

Lindberg (2006) argues that ``elections do not signal the
completion of transition to democracy but rather foster libera
lization and have self
-
reinforcing
powers that promote democracy´´, the common people in SS Africa sees it as the only sine
qua non for any meaningful change. Following the granting of multi
-
party politics after the
uprisings of the 1
990s, in almost every
country parliamentary and p
residential elections led to
more rhetoric and upheavals, situations which were mostly characterized by mounting
complexities, deadlocks, reverses and failures, mainly because political actors (in
cumbents,
military, ruling parti
es

or main opposition
s
) does not want to lose. In almost every country,
incumbents
,

who usually play the role of a player and a referee
,

uses their incumbency powers
to do everything to remain in power. They encourage the creation

of numerous political
parties
-

numbering in

many cases into hundreds;

and a plethora of aspiring candidates during
elections with the motive of seeing a fragmented opposition. They pay electorates to attend
campaign rallies, move from house to house dish
ing out monies and gifts, announcing the
creation of new schools, health centres and administrative units all in a move to cajole or woe
electorates, and mobilizes all state resources including logistics, finance, media and
manpower to the interest of the
incumbents. In
some countries like
Cameroon, Togo, Gabon,
Cote d´lvoire, state employees could lose their jobs if the incumbent
s

fail to win in their
constituencies and the opposition candidates are even molested and denied access by the
police and militar
y to campaign in parts of the country that are strong
-
holds of the
incumbent
s
. During voting, supporters of incumbents could possess more than one voter´s
card giving them multiple chances to vote. In Zambia, ballot boxes could be found with no
lids and ba
llot papers with no serial numbers. In Cameroon, the private media is banned from
publishing results trends as counting is underway while government spokespersons could
announce the final results while the counting is still going on. In general, winning ca
ndidates
who are often the incumbents always win with more than 90% of total votes casted, making
the whole exercise in SS Africa a complete masquerade, and over the years it has resulted to
massive voter apathy.


Michael Bratton and Nicolas Van de Wall
e (1997:p,68), stresses that ´´elections in SS
Africa are generally depicted as empty and largely symbolic exercises designed to legitimate
officeholders`` and that ´´the essential purpose of the ballot in this type of elections is to
19


provide the existing
government with a semblance of popular approval``. The difficulty and
inability to evict incumbents who frequently carry out unconstitutional constitutional
amendments to add up terms of office and manipulate elections, over the years has been felt in
the
frequency and intensity of military
coups and civil wars in the sub
-
region. The table below
gives a generalized clue to this:
13

Table ii

: How African leaders left office , 1960


2003



Cause

1960
-
69

1970
-
79

1980
-
89

1990
-
99

2000
-
03

Total

Overthrown in coups,
wars, or invasions.


27


30


22


22


6


107

Died of natural or
accidental cause


2


3


4


3


0


12

Assassinations (not part of
coups)


1


1


1


1


0


5

Retired voluntarily


1


2


5


9


2


19

Lost election


0


0


1


12


6


19

Other (interim/caretaker)


6


8


4


14


1


33

Data from 1960


2003 adapted from Hyden
(2006: p.19)


Democratization in SS Africa, even though Michael Bratton and Nicolas Van de Walle
(1997: p,110) describes it as ´´one step forward and two steps backward``, nevertheless has
witnessed so much advances. In most countries, basic freedoms an
d rights have been made
readily available more than ever before and ordinary citizens have become less fearful of state
power
s

and less inclined to stay silent and passive when civil liberties are trampled upon.
Independent civil society institutions like
news publications and watchdog groups began to
effect checks and balances, however fragile, against the excesses of the dictators. And also
more political space has been created in almost every political domain. Such could be felt in
the increased number o
f seats in most legislature
s and councils all over the sub
-
region.
Though the people of SS Africa are not yet fully empowered, they are at least emboldened
and this single
-
handed awakening in the democratization struggle has proven to be the most
profound
innovation of Africa´s fight for liberalization and/or independence.






13

It should also be noted that some incumbents
fearing persecution after leaving power will

prefer to hand
over to cons
titutional successors

whom they have trusted

and/or groom up their children to take over
from
them
like the

situations in Togo, Gabon and
C
ongo Democratic Republic, rather than to elected successors.

20


2

: 3

Democracy in a Theoretical P
erspective


Ronald and Thomas

(2001) states on

Robert Dahl that, ´´there is no single theory of
democracy; only theories``. Beyond the broad
commitment to rule by the majority, democracy
involves a set of contentious debates concerning the proper functioning and scope of power,
equality, freedom, justice and interest. The discourse over the conceptualization of democracy
is just as old as the b
eginning of democracy itself and has attracted heated arguments and
debates over the years resulting to series of critical interpretations and reinterpretations.
Some of these profound disagreements could be traced to the permanent tension between
democra
cy as an ideal, on the one hand, and as a set of actual public institutions on the other.

The deep rooted and diverse nature of these democratic ideals and public institutions only
keep becoming complex and interwoven and the many schools of thought that e
merged since
the classical through the modern to the contemporary worlds have mainly been struggling to
carry on with this interpretation and reinterpretation. Many of the theories postulated looks at
democracy in various perspectives as far as opportuniti
es and dangers associated with politics
is concerned, and more especially, much of the discourses are geared at looking at the
meanings and purposes of democratic principles

and practices. Many modern day scholars are
of the opinion that the Liberal theor
y of democracy among the many existing theories has
been the under
-
pinning theory that could be used most to conceptualize democracy, and is
closely linked to the Republican tradition. Nevertheless, several other contemporary theories
in participatory demo
cracy, pluralist democracy, performance democracy and protective
democracy have helped to intensify the debate despite the so many critics. The sub
-
topic
s

below gives a wider elaboration;


2 : 3 : 1 Approach as a Universal C
oncept




Democracy as
an institution to run general affairs of society

is an invention of a much
earlier period dating from the time of the ancient Greeks
,

and
so too is the debate over its
conceptualization
. Democratic theories pursue their thoughts in intellectual vacuums no

more
t
han do theories of any subject;
and Aristotle, Tocqueville, and Schum
peter are among the
prominent

traditional thinkers often and appropriately referred to in current writings and each
of these classic predecessors confronts democrac
y with serious c
hallenges (
Cunningham,
2005, p6). Much of the works of the
se

early democratic theorists had to do with the division
21


of society into social classes with contradictory materialistic interests, which throws also
some light on the modern
-
day problems of democr
acy. Most philosophers however were
critical of the Greek system just because it rested on slavery and excluded women and
foreigners from decision
-
making.


Generally, all democratic theories

share the view that each mem
ber of the political
community
c
arries elementary rational capacities that are sufficient to judge t
he conduct of
government. For
such judgments to have meaning democratic citizens are expected t
o be free
in several important
respects; they must be free regarding such matters as speech,

assem
bly
and conscience. For some,
these sorts of freedoms are liberal rights, but for many democrats,

these and allied freedoms are
valued independently of our liberal inheritance as essential
compon
ents of an open regime that is accountable to citizens

(
Ronald and Thomas
, 2001, p6).
They also have a share vision of a government by free and equal citizens who participate in
their own governance. Public office is not the property of the incumbents and theoretically
belongs to the citizens who can reclaim
it in an orderly and peaceful way. They equally agree
on the ideal that public power flows from public approval and that the law reflects public
preferences. They
therefore, assume

t
hat public officials are responsible for their conduct and
accountable to citizens and that present
politics can be changed.




In modern political thought democratic theories are categorized on how they
conceptualize the people, citizenship, majority a
nd minority. T
o most of modern scholars, the
issue of majority and minority are very contradictory and has led to a distortion in the
presentation of problems especial
ly when we account it merely on

elections and legislative
issues. I
n their construction o
f what might be the best form of government, the antiquity
Republicanist Aristotle in his writing, ´´Politics`` referred to the majority as the poor, that is,
expropriated sections of society and the minority
he
described as propertied nobility while
moder
n liberalist John Stourt Mills, on the tyranny of the majority, has to question what might
be the result if subordinate classes, the vast majorit
y of population, are franchised
. All these
contradictions had been part of the motivating factors for the upsur
ge of political debates over
the years for the best form of democratic government.


The concept of democracy rotates around some key allied terms including citizenship,
freedom, equality and participation. Giving a clear definition and explanation to ea
ch of these
terms would make the meaning and purpose of democracy clearer. This is an idea which has
been a main focus, generating the intense debate in the democratic discourse that had been
22


going on over the years. Other issues too such as the role of in
terest in politics and power in
politics have aggravated the debates and had contributed in giving rise to the several
divergence and convergence
of thoughts that had resulted to the surfacing of more theories.



On the issue of citizenship, early phil
osophers like Aristotle tie it to the ownership of
private property while all other contemporary and twentieth
-
century scholars disagree.
Friedrick Hayek´s civic republicans
and communita
rians proceed to argue on the other hand
that the free citizen can
only flourish politically in a community where traditions are strong
and civic duty is widely respected
, and also feel that the character of their

citizens determines
the character of the republic. If citizens are civically virtuous, the republic can be e
xpected to
thrive, but if they are self

involved or lethargic, we should anticipate a politics of
fragmentation

and corruption leading toward
s

decay
14

. Liberal democrats wants to

extend the
scope of citizenship be
yond conventional participation

such as voting

to previously non
-
political areas of life
, and still many of them disagree with the republicans and worry
that an
emphasis on community and duty can displace fundamental rights as the central commitment
of a democratic regim
e.



Another

highly contested area when

conceptualizing democratic politics is power. Power
in this type of politics is aimed at the widest distribution to its citizenry as much as possible.
This, so many theorists have agreed but controversies over what power means a
nd how it can
be shared among the citizenry abound. As a matter of fact, the very features of political life
that some identify as abuses of power in a democracy, others find to be essential to the
emancipation of individuals and an indispensable component

of full political equality. For
some, the primary site of the abuse of power is located in the state, with its proclivity to
interfere with the freedom of its citizen while others think it has myriad locations and is not
confined to institutional sites,
public or private, but circulates throughout society: in the
family and race relations, in schools and the media, in the workplace, and even within the
seemingly neutral spheres of knowledge, the sciences and technology.



Interest as one of the dri
ving forces in politics has been very contentious too.

Socrates,
one of the pioneer theorists in this area took a leading stand by arguing that for any good
democratic government to prevail;
those who rule
must not
put their interests ahead of the
good of
the whol
e. For this reason,
Socrates wants his philosopher kings and queens to do
without family

and

private property
, for such attachments distract rulers f
rom searching for



14

Ibid. pp.8

23


justice. H
ence interest needs to be banished from politics
15
. This stand has been
widely
accepted by many theorists but controversies still arise around the extent of its involvement
and
Socrates' strictures regarding the family and propert
y.
These critics find that interests
corrupt political langu
age and make agreement about a
common
good difficult, if not
impossible. For their part, supporters of interests in de
mocratic
politics find that interests are
an inescapable and necessary part of politica
l life, and efforts to silence

or thwart them
threaten to disarm the many against those
who al
ready enjoy a preponderance of
power
16
.


From the above theoretical discourse, we can deduce that conceptualizing people,
citizenship, majority and minority and allied terms like power and interest amongst others had
been the main focus of the demo
cratic debates over the years. These debates had contributed
to give rise to the several divergence and convergence of thoughts resulting to the several
theories and/or schools of thoughts surrounding the concept of democracy.



2 : 3 : 2 A
pproach
within an African M
odel


Governance in SS Africa had been characterized by a dominance of authoritarian rule and a
subsequent effort at transition through the introduction and stabilization of democracy by the
local people and the international communi
ty. So we are going to address this theoretical
discourse
on the African model
in three dimensions; democracy and authoritarianism,
democracy and civil society and democracy and IO. Transition from dictatorship to
democracy takes the forms of demilitarizat
ion of social and political life; liberalization of civil
society; and the democratization of the rules governing political and economic competition.
To start looking for solutions on why transition is hard to go by, it is important first to always
find ou
t why authoritarianism has persisted in SS Africa.


The basis for authoritarian rule should be located primarily at the level of material
r
elations.

Backed by the classical realists believe that the fundamental reason why states are
egoistic and consta
ntly in need of wealth and power is human nature
, wealth accumulation has
become an integral part of authoritarianism and has proven to be one of the most strongest
structural reasons for its persistent existence. On this, Habermas (1973) contends that ´´t
he
quest for stable accumulation and political order requires the state to supplant the market as



15

Ibid.

16

Ibid.pp.10

24


the principal steering mechanism for the social and economic system to effect ´a social class
compromise` through welfare programmes and high wage levels that

are set ´quasi
-
politically```. Trying to bring more clarity on the issue, Peter Gibbon et al (1992: p.41)
suggests that this wealth accumulation takes the form of wage
-
exploitation monopolistic
practices, incorporating both national and international ente
rprises; rent
-
seeking state
capitalism
17
; and the regulation of petty commodity production
18
. He concluded that this
encourages the growth of authoritarian values. In most SS African countries, the principles of
collective bargaining are still poorly develop
ed and the credit union still grapples with the
problems of recognition and organization and the right to participate in the determination of
working conditions. This lack of a neutral monitoring organ encourages the rise of
transnationals, local firms and

other dominant groups in the economy and society to
appropriate rent and/or siphon state resources. Peter Gibbon, citing on Bhagwati (1982)
argues that rent seeking activities cause developing economies to operate at sub
-
optimal
levels. Neo
-
classical poli
tical economies confirms the impact of these groups by associating
economic distortion in the developing economies with the emergence of powerful urban
coalitions who use their privileged access to state resources to
exploit rural communities

(
Gibbon et al
,1992 on Bates,1981 and Lofchie,1989).




Apart from wealth, another reason from the realist stand point which account for the
existence of authoritarianism is the love of power. The sheer pride of holding the scepter of
power, wielding political influence at home and abroad especially during off
icial ceremonies,
moving in luxurious cars and living in great mansions, and having the population
´
bow
`

to
you when you meet them have always been the dream of most African p
oliticians and military
men
. In fact they make things more possible by building a

strong neo
-
patrimonial culture once
they climb to power, a culture characterized by a population that have been ´´brainwashed``
through the use of money, gifts and favours (clientelism culture) i
n order to persistently
guarantee

their loyalty
19
.

Clientelis
m has been a key mechanism through which political
interests have built the electoral support necessary to ensure access to the state's resources. In
turn, it has shaped a politics of factional competition over power and resources, a politics