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Closing the Circle
Democratization and Development in Africa
We all know that many African countries face political tyranny, failed capitalist development, and violent domestic conflict. What is less clear is what relationship may exist between effective democratic institutions and the solution of the last two problems. Richard Sandbrook draws on the experience with democratisation of a carefully selected sample of countries: Ghana, Mali and Niger in West Africa; Zambia, Tanzania and Madagascar in East Africa; and Sudan. He illustrates the diversity of African experiences of the transition to democratic political forms and the complex relationships between democratic institutions and economic reform and social order. He concludes that the ultimate value of democratic institutions lies in whether they lead to economic progress and social justice and peace.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'Sandbrook does a remarkable job of presenting an extraordinary range of material about an extraordinarily complex subject--the meltdown of politics and economies in Africa--in a way that makes complete sense of the challenges and proposes a clear solution. Optimism is usually the sign of a flawed understanding, but Sandbrook convinces the reader that Africans are fully capable of working out their own solutions once global conditions are reformed.'
Timothy Brook, Stanford University
'A comprehensive, scholarly, thoroughly researched, objective analysis of the state of political and economic trends in Africa in recent times. Relevant for academics, students, democracy workers, civil society organizations, and above all politicians and policy makers inside and outside Africa.'
Patrick Molutsi, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, Stockholm
'Richard Sandbrook is in the commendable habit of writing successful books. This is in the tradition of the earlier ones, but it surpasses them in incisive communicative lucidity, logic, and scholarly rigour.'
J.A.A. Ayoade, University of Ibadan
'Richard Sandbrook refuses to get sucked into the general pessimism about Africa's future. He examines the causes of conflict and disorder with a steady eye and a humane, practical vision. In his view, human needs have to govern the market. Good governance, security, welfare and liberty have to go together. Sandbrook pioneered, sustained and now has developed a powerful case for a social democratic order in Africa. His analysis is well informed and convincing.'
Robin Cohen, Warwick University
'Comprehensive, clear, and constructive, this book offers an excellent analysis of democratization and development in Africa. A strong argument is made in favour of 'social-democratic globalisation' as a much needed external condition for 'getting the politics right' in many African states. I can think of no better way for students and scholars to get a quick yet far-reaching and inclusive overview of the complex conditions defining democracy and development in Africa.'
Georg Sorensen, University of Aarhus, Denmark
'A readable, articulate study that makes a vast body of current thinking and research on democratization and development in Africa accessible.'
International Journal of African Historical Studies