Democracy Promotion

Authored by: Stephen Brown

Routledge Handbook of African Politics

Print publication date:  March  2013
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415573788
eBook ISBN: 9780203070680
Adobe ISBN: 9781135092429

10.4324/9780203070680.ch31

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Abstract

Most African countries were democracies at the time of their independence, but by the late 1980s very few democracies remained. In the early 1990s, Western governments announced that democracy promotion would be a cornerstone of their aid to countries in Africa and elsewhere. However, 20 years later, remarkably few African countries can truly be described as democracies. Why did Western aid donors suddenly emphasize democracy in the early 1990s? Why is the track record of democracy promotion so poor? How serious are donors about promoting democracy when faced with competing foreign policy objectives? What enables African countries to resist pressure to democratize? Why has democracy promotion declined in the past decade?

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