The institutional forms and process of democracy are spreading in Africa as dictatorial regimes have been forced to give way. But democratic form and democratic substance are two different things. Western derived institutional forms are neither necessarily the most appropriate nor the most practical in the current African context, and rooting democratic norms in African political cultures raises socio-cultural questions. This book draws on the experiences of particular African elections and countries to explore the continuing impact of police state apparatuses; the factors influencing voters’ attitudes and behaviour; the impact of incumbency on electoral competition; women’s participation; and the lack of choice in party programmes. The fundamental issue is whether democratic processes as currently practised in Africa are really making any difference.
Tukumbi Lumumba-Kasongo is Professor of Political Science and Herbert J. Charles and Florence Charles Faegre Professor of Political Science, and he was the Chair of the Department of International Studies from 1999 to 2002 at Wells College, Aurora, New York. He was also Visiting Senior Fellow between 1992 and 2001 at the Institute for African Development at Cornell University, and he is also Visiting Scholar at the Department of City and Regional at Cornell University. He also is a Research Associate at Institut d’Ethno-Sociologie, Université de Cocody Côte d’Ivoire, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (West Africa).
CODESRIA, Africa in the New Millennium Series, 2005