Democratic pressures in Africa challenged autocracy at the end of the Cold War. Since then, there has been vigorous debate over the resilience of democracy in the region and the quality of democratic performance. The accompanying articles raise five important observations. First, democracy has become a normative value for the majority of African citizens. Second, political space has opened in a range of systems. Third, political actors have gained greater sophistication at manipulating electoral politics, whether to ensure incumbency or to thwart political transition. Fourth, problems of democratic performance extend beyond elections to key institutions, accountability, and economic development. Finally, questions of political transition continue to challenge authoritarian governments and electoral democracies.
Aspirations and Realities in Africa: Five Reflections
Issue Date July 2019
Page Numbers 76-85