Political Regimes And Degree Of Pluralism

2942 Words Dec 5th, 2014 12 Pages
The decolonization process after the Second World War brought a new hope for a more democratic world. In Africa, however, the process did not provide the results expected by the West as most of the African states turned rapidly into various forms of authoritarian regimes with only a few adopting more democratic rule. Reasons for that are manifold. Authoritarianism, in the African context, is defined by a lack of state and ruling elites’ capacity to “transform […] power into effective political, economic, and cultural policies” thus undermining the presence of an overarching authority and being often, but not always, repressive” (Fatton Jr, 1988, p. 255). The differences in political regimes and degree of pluralism can be analysed during the transition period in early post-independence years, determined by ways in which leaders centralized power differently across Africa (Bratton & Van der Walle, 1994, p. 468). While some argue that colonial legacies have laid the ground for the prevalence of authoritarianism after independence, others would see this explanation as reductionist and simplistic, failing to consider other historical, social and cultural aspects. This essay will review some of the structural limitations that emerged in the colonial period and were reinforced by other factors such as the international environment and informal politics, upholding authoritarian practices and corruption across almost all of the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). First, I will…
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