Democratic Experiments in Africa

Regime Transitions in Comparative Perspective

Democratic Experiments in Africa

Between 1989 and 1994, almost all of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa underwent significant political reform, including in many cases the first competitive elections in a generation. How can this wave of political liberalization be explained? Why did some countries complete a democratic transition, while others could not sustain more than limited political reform and others still suffered authoritarian reversals? What are the long term prospects for democracy in Africa? This study constitutes the first comprehensive analysis of democratic transitions in Sub-Saharan Africa.


"...a major work with which all who subsequently write on the subject of transitions on developing countries will have to wrestle. The scholarly effort is also excellent evidence of why the current debate on regional studies versus comparative politics is so empty and sterile. The authors have learned much from the general comparative literature, and through intensive study of a region they are able to contribute much to the general scholarly dialogue. The entire field of comparative politics is enriched by their efforts." Jeffrey Herbst, Political Science Quarterly

"...many stimulating ways of looking at democratization." Gail M. Gerhert, Foreign Affairs

"Democratic Experiments in Africa is an ambitious and important book that should be read by every serious student of democratization and by every serious student of African politics. Democratic Experiments in a major benchmark against which future studies of democratization in Africa should be judged." Joel D. Barkan, Journal of Democracy

"This work sets high standards for both empirical and theoretical scholarship which will undoubtedly energize theoretical debates." Dan Ottemoeller, African Studies Review

"Democratic Experiments in Africa illustrates the analytic leverage regime typologies offer in explaining cross-national variations in transitions to democracy, Bratton and van de Walle highlight three important ways that the type of nondemocratic regime shapes democratization processes." Comparative Politics

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