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14.6: Resources and References

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    Key Points

    • Local governance is crucial to human security because it ensures representation.
    • Locally defined political liberalism (e.g. the protection of ‘life, liberty and estates’) and human security are inextricably linked.
    • In their observations of sub-Saharan African political realities, Africanists have remained focused on central government issues, leading to largely superficial conclusions that often neglect matters of human security.
    • Because of the legacies of both the colonial era and the Cold War, strengthening local government institutions in sub-Saharan African states is especially challenging.
    • In those states the prospects of strengthening local government is largely viewed with skepticism.

    .Extension Activities & Further Research

    1. How have the approaches used by Africanists been flawed in terms of their attention to liberal democracy and, in turn, human security?
    2. What are the historic and ongoing challenges to promoting the role of local governments in sub-Saharan African contexts?
    3. How are progressive left and conservative right of Africanists blocked in their conceptions of democratic development?
    4. Democracy is thriving, liberalism is not. Explain.
    5. Democratization is a process not an event. Explain.
    6. The concept of ‘modernisation’ is mentioned throughout this chapter. What do you think it means, in the views of Africanists, and in your own view?

    List of Terms

    See Glossary for full list of terms and definitions.

    • conservative révisionnistes
    • illiberal democracy
    • liberalism
    • neoliberalism
    • positive-sum
    • se débrouiller
    • submerged Lockean consensus
    • zero-sum

    Suggested Reading

    Afrobarometer. (n.d.). Afrobarometer.

    Brookings Institution. (2019). Foresight Africa: Top priorities for the continent in 2019.

    Cheeseman, N., & Smith, J. (2019, January). The retreat of African Democracy: The autocratic threat is growing. Foreign Affairs. Retrieved August 10, 2019, from

    Democracy in Africa. (n.d.). Democracy in Africa.

    Huntington, S. (1968). Political order in changing societies. Yale University Press.

    O’Donnell, G., Vargas-Cullell, J., & Iazzetta, O. M. (Eds.). (2004). The quality of democracy: Theory and applications. University of Notre Dame Press.

    Schaffer, F. C. (1998). Democracy in translation: Understanding politics in an unfamiliar culture. Cornell University Press.

    Zuern, Elke. (2009). Democratization as liberation: Competing African perspectives on democracy. Democratization, 16(3), 585–603.


    Asante, M. K. (2007). The history of Africa: The quest for eternal harmony. Routledge.

    Bates, R. H. (2001). Prosperity & violence: The political economy of development. W. W. Norton.

    Chazan, N., Lewis, P., Mortimer, R. A., Rothchild, D., & Stedman, S. J. (1999). Politics and society in contemporary Africa (3rd ed.). Macmillan.

    Cooper, F. (2002). Africa since 1940: The past of the present. Cambridge University Press.

    Fukuyama, F. (1989). The end of history? The National Interest, 16, 3–18.

    Hailey, W. M. (1938). An African survey: A study of problems arising in Africa south of the Sahara. Oxford University Press.

    Louis Hartz, L. (1955). The liberal tradition in America: An interpretation of American political thought since the revolution. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company.

    Hochschild, A. (1999). King Leopold’s ghost: A story of greed, terror, and heroism in colonial Africa. Mariner Books.

    Huntington, S. P. (1968). Political order in changing societies. Yale University Press.

    Huntington, S. P. (1981). American politics: The promise of disharmony. Harvard University Press.

    Joseph, R. A. (1991). Africa: The rebirth of political freedom. Journal of Democracy, 2(4), 11–24.

    Kagan, R. (2019, January 22). Springtime for strongmen. Foreign Policy.

    Kitching, G. (2000). Why I gave up African studies. Mots Pluriels. (Reprinted from “Why I gave up African studies,” 2000, African Studies Review & Newsletter, 22(1), 21–26)

    LaMonica, C. (2017). Moving beyond “illiberal democracy” in sub-Saharan Africa: Recalling the significance of local governance. In E. K. Ngwainmbi (Ed.), Citizenship, democracies, and media engagement among emerging economies and marginalized communities (pp. 291–324). Palgrave Macmillan.

    Lancaster, C. (1992). Democracy in Africa. Foreign Policy, 85, 148–165.

    Legum, C. (1999). Africa since independence. Indiana University Press.

    Lerner, D. (1958). The passing of traditional society: Modernizing the Middle East. Free Press.

    Locke, J. (1952). Two treatises of government. Liberal Arts Press. (Original work published 1690)

    Lugan, B. (2004). African legacy: Solutions for a community in crisis. Carnot Books.

    O’Donnell, G., Cullell, J. V., & Iazzetta, O. M. (Eds.). (2004). The quality of democracy: Theory and applications. University of Notre Dame Press.

    Omotola, J. S. (2009). Attractions and limitations of liberal democracy in Africa. Africana, 3(1), 5–30.

    Prunier, G. (2008). Africa’s world war: Congo, the Rwandan genocide, and the making of a continental catastrophe. Oxford University Press.

    Rostow, W. W. (1960). The stages of economic growth: A non-communist manifesto. Cambridge University Press.

    Rotberg, R. I. (2001). Ending autocracy, enabling democracy: The tribulations of southern Africa, 1960–2000. Brookings Institution Press; World Peace Foundation.

    Rotberg, R. I. (2004). Strengthening African leadership. Foreign Affairs, 83(4).

    Schaffer, F. C. (1998). Democracy in translation: Understanding politics in an unfamiliar culture. Cornell University Press.

    Schraeder, P. J. (2004). African politics and society: A mosaic in transformation (2nd ed.). Wadsworth Publishing.

    Siegle, J. T., Weinstein, M. M., & Halper, M. H. (2004). Why democracies excel. Foreign Affairs, 83(5), 57–71.

    Stearns, J. (2011). Dancing in the glory of monsters: The collapse of the Congo and the great war of Africa. PublicAffairs.

    United Nations (2009). Human security in theory and practice: Application of the human security concept and the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security.

    Wallerstein, I. (1961). Africa: The politics of independence. Vintage Books.

    Wallerstein, I. (1967). Africa: The politics of unity. Random House.

    Wallerstein, I. (1995). After liberalism. The New Press.

    Wolton, S. (2000). Lord Hailey, the colonial office, and the politics of race and empire in the Second World War: The loss of white prestige. Palgrave Macmillan.

    Wrong, M. (2002). In the footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the brink of disaster in Mobutu’s Congo. Harper Perennial.

    Zakaria, F. (1997). The rise of illiberal democracy. Foreign Affairs, 76(6), 22–43.

    Zinn, H. (2005). A people’s history of the United States: 1492–present (3rd ed.). Harper Perennial.

    Zuern, E. (2009). Democratization as liberation: Competing African perspectives on democracy. Democratization, 16(3), 585–603.


    1. The term ‘corrupt’ is used in many meanings by many authors. In a post-colonial context the concept becomes even more difficult to define. Here it is intended to indicate any one or several of the following attributes: using one’s position of power or influence in order to gain personal wealth; accepting bribes or kickbacks in exchange for political favours; favouring or discriminating against particular groups in society for reasons of personal gain or patronage; misusing national resources for purposes outside the national interest. 
    2. In fact, Rousseau never did refer to a “noble savage” in his writings. 
    3. Advocated by many Western/ external participants, to whit: Africa/ns must change internally. 
    4. Emphasis on many local/ internal participants, to whit: the external is the source of our woes (left) or the source of our riches (right). 
    5. Liberal by US standards. 
    6. Conservative by Western standards. 
    7. Marxist-Leninist or anti-imperialist; local and otherwise. 
    8. Conservative by African standards; local beneficiaries; often colluding with external powers. 
    9. Editor's note: The reader is encouraged to explore the limits of this proposition under conditions of ecological overshoot. Chapter 21 offers an extension activity (#4) to that end. 

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