Values File

Tying political pluralism to elections simplifies the

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Unformatted text preview: "technocratic, gradualistic conception of democratization" that assumes a well-modulated sequencing (p. 91). Essentially, this model presumes that an authoritarian regime (if for no other reason than to save itself) will open to the possibility of reform as its legitimacy fades and its populace presses for greater freedoms. DEMOCRACY PROMOTION CAUSES ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL STRATIFICATION Julius O. Ihonvbere, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at Austin, ISSUES AND TRENDS IN CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN POLITICS, 1997, P. 309 While there is no doubting the fact that the current democratization agenda was foisted on African leaders by Western governments, donors, lenders, and other external 3ources of pressure, the real democratization which has been going on since the nationalists betrayed the people in the 1960's is where we must focus to discern the future of the region. Tying political pluralism to elections simplifies the entire democratic agenda. Withholding foreign aid as was done to Kenya in 1991 simply compels the incumbent government to introduce political change on its own terms to satisfy the demands of the donors. In both cases, such forms of "change" are superficial, cosmetic, and diversionary. Such democratization programs do not reach or include the supposed beneficiaries of democracy: peasants, women, workers, and young people. They are not consulted, though they are told of what has happened. They are not mobilized, educated, involved, and relied upon to generate the required environment for the sustenance and consolidation of democracy. More importantly, the democratization process foisted on Africa from above, and swallowed by the foreign aid-dependent elite does not empower the people in any way. This is more so since the personalities, institutions, expectations, methods, and strategies of politics remain essentially the same as the neo-colonial state and economy. SLHS Value File DEMOCRATIZATION EXACERBATES ETHNIC CONFLICT Crawford Young, professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, State, C...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.

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