Other reads on Democratization

By Africa Center for Strategic Studies
Updated: 03/15/2011

Social Networks and Democratic Transitions

By Joseph Siegle, Developing Alternatives, 2008

The success and stability of democratic transitions is often a function of the strength of prevailing social networks. Such transitions often face active resistance from vested interests. Yet, the cohesion of networks of civic groups, labor unions, business associations, and others with robust information-sharing systems permit the flexibility and resilience needed to realize genuine reforms and ensure stable transitions.

Assessing Electoral Fraud in New Democracies: A Strategic Approach

By Staffan Darnolf, IFES, March 2011

Recent and upcoming elections around Africa demonstrate that transparent and well-managed electoral systems are key to advancing transitional states, consolidating democratic progress, and avoiding destabilizing disputes. Current electoral management methods, however, frequently lack focused strategies that integrate electoral commissions, political parties, and civil society monitors to effectively assess, deter, detect, and mitigate fraud.

The Implementation of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance

By Ibrahima Kane, African Security Review, December 2008

The African Union adopted the landmark African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance in 2007. While implementation still lags behind the principles outlined for holding elections, building state institutions, creating a democratic culture, and preventing unconstitutional changes of government, the Charter establishes an important normative and institutional framework for Africa’s still nascent democratic systems.

Why Democracy is Central to Prosperity and Peace

By Joseph Siegle, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, 2006

Good summary of the rationale for why democracies of all income levels tend to realize superior economic growth, development, and security.

Ongoing Struggle for Democracy

By Mathurin Houngnikpo, West Africa Review, 2007

Genuine democratization requires far more than a series of free and fair elections but also the establishment of many institutions and procedures such as independent and effective legislative, judicial, and investigative bodies within a state. Benin’s major democratic institutions are improving their effectiveness, but recent maneuvers demonstrate how “spoils politics” can disrupt positive democratic trends.

Reviewing democracy and human security in Africa

By Anne Hammerstad, Institute for Security Studies, 2004

A well-researched, well-written book about critical aspects of democratic reforms like the mechanics of voter registration systems, the distinction between inclusive and exclusive political systems, the peer-review initiatives of NEPAD, and the complex dynamics of term limit laws.

Democracy and Security in Africa: Towards a Framework of Understanding

By Sola Akinrinade, Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 1999

Good piece that thougtfully links, democracy, security, and development in Africa.