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This work seeks to examine the nature and dynamics of authoritarianism in Africa and to suggest ways in which the states covered in the book can be democratically reconstituted.
In 1990, a wave of euphoria greeted the "third wave of democratization" that swept across the African Continent. The repression-wearied subalterns were hopeful that the "third wave" would have set into motion the process of democratically reconstituting the authoritarian state on the continent. More than two decades thereafter, although some progress has been made, by and large, the authoritarian state remains the dominant construct in the region. Even in some of the countries in which democratic transitions have taken place, the process of democratic consolidation remains an elusive quest as these states are sandwiched between authoritarianism and democracy.
Against this background, the purpose of this book is to examine the travails of the authoritarian state in Africa, including the Herculean task to democratically reconstruct it. In order to do this, six of Africa’s perennial authoritarian states—Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Liberia, Rwanda and Uganda—are used as the case studies.
The book has two major objectives. First, the various chapters probe the nature and dynamics of authoritarianism in Africa. Second, the chapters suggest ways in which the various authoritarian states covered in the book can be democratically reconstituted.