State Building and Democratization in Africa: Faith, Hope, and Realities
State building and democratization in Africa rarely attract the attention they deserve. Few have grappled with the relationship between state building (nation-building) and democratic experiments in Africa. This collection consciously corrects this shortcoming in African political studies. Among the issues raised: Does democracy facilitate state building or does it exacerbate ethnic conflicts? Are certain modalities of democratization more likely to facilitate state-building than others? Has the era of democracy created the need for new state building strategies? Does the objective of state building require significant modifications in the essence and form of democracy?
This collection combines theoretical explorations with empirical case studies. It looks at both anglophone and francophone countries of sub-Saharan Africa. While the contributors have written extensively on African issues, there is no consensus among the authors; most argue that integrating ethnic groups that already face discrimination and often are engaged in conflict requires compromise, political settlements, and new terms of incorporation into the state. These compromises, in turn, involve new arrangements in how democracy is perceived and instituted. An important collection for scholars, students, and other researchers involved with African political, social, and economic development.