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BUIJTENHUIJS Robert, RIJNIERSE Elly

Democratization in Sub-Saharan Africa 1989-1992 : An Overview of the Literature

African Study Center (ASC) - Leiden (Pays-Bas) - 1993
9789054480075

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 This report gives an overview of the literature on recent democratization processes in sub-Saharan Africa (1989-1992). The authors first deal with the basic features of African politics that can serve as a framework within which present-day democratization developments can be comprehended. Then they describe the fundamental debates on democracy in Africa which took place in the academic community in the period 1960-1989. These debates, whose origins lie in the independence movements, focused on the failure of the Westminster/Élysée models, with many social scientists criticizing the multiparty system, thereby in fact legitimizing the single-party State and, ultimately, a no-party State. From the 1970s, social scientists started to show concern about the dominance of the African State, and a few argued in defence of democracy. Following the 'democratization wave' which started in 1989, the democracy debate is now flourishing. The fundamental question of whether democracy is a purely Western concept, and differing definitions of what constitutes democracy, have led to discussions about the State and civil society, the function of the multiparty system in the democratization process, good governance, the relation between democracy and jurisprudence, and between democracy and development. An assessment of the national and international events leading to the recent political crisis and the call for democracy suggests some favourable developments, as well as obstacles to further democratization

 Les titres concernant la transition démocratique en Afrique noire publiés entre 1989 et 1992. Fera suite à cet ouvrage en  1997 celui de Robert Buijtenhuijs et Céline Thiriot: "Démocratisation en Afrique au sud du Sahara (1992-1995): un bilan de la littérature" paru au CEAN de Bordeaux

Robert Buijtenhuijs (1936-2004), néerlandais, est un africaniste spécialiste en sciences sociales et politiques qui travaillera particulièrement sur les mouvements de libération au Kenya puis au Tchad. Il appartiendra jusqu'en 1999, date de sa retraite, à l'Afrika Studiecentrum de Leyde.