African Search for Stable Forms of Statehood: Essays in Political Criticism

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This study explores and the shifting modes of politics in nine African countries as manifested in transitions from colonialism to political independence. Utilizing various theoretical approaches, the work interrogates the conjecture of change and continuity with a view to evaluating the depth of political reform, its impact and prospects.


“Rich, critical, informative, and authoritative, this highly readable book teaches us something new and important about how African politics have been studied and presented. It is perhaps the first to identify and discuss fully the various paradigms that have thus far been deployed to make sense of contemporary politics in Africa.” – Dr. Toyin Falola, Frances Higginbotham Centennial Professor of History and the University of Texas Distinguished Teaching Professor

“Professor Nasong’o should be applauded for his outstanding effort at bringing together a most competent group of scholars from various academic disciplines whose fresh perspectives make this volume a fresh read of an important region that is misunderstood and misrepresented in Western literature.” - Dr. Eric E. Otenyo, Assistant Professor of Comparative Public Administration, Northern Arizona University

“. . . a valuable text which makes a fundamental contribution to the understanding of African politics not only in political science but also in the fields of history, economics, sociology and political anthropology.” - Professor Eric Masinde Aseka, Professor of Political History, Kenyatta University, Nairobi

Table of Contents

Foreword by Toyin Falola
Section I: Theoretical and Conceptual Considerations
Shifting Modes of Politics in Africa: Theoretical and Conceptual Imperatives - Shadrack Wanjala Nasong’o
Section II: The Politics of Democratization in East Africa
Contemporary Kenyan Politics: A Structuration Theoretic Approach – Ludeki Chweya and Wanjala Nasong’o
From a Socialist Order to Liberal Politics: Democratic Transition in Tanzania – Fredrick O. Wanyama
Reversed Transition in Uganda: From a Non-Democratic Multiparty System to a “Non-Party” Democracy – Joshua M. Kivuva
Section III: Change and Continuity in Southern Africa
Transition from a Personal Dictatorship in Malawi: Democratization and the Legacy of the Past – Stephen Brown
From International Pariah to Africa’s Messiah: Dynamics of South Africa’s Paradigm Shift – William Jennings
Comrade Mugabe’s Zimbawe: The Politics of Deception and Survival – Maurice N. Amutabi
Botswana, Africa’s Oldest Democracy: The Legacy of Sir Seretse Khama – Robert L. Curry, Jr.
Section IV: The Democratization Problematic in West Africa
Post-Military Transition in Nigeria or Democracy on Trial? – Cyril I. Obi
Democratic Transition in Cameroon: Achievements, Challenges, and Prospects – Wilfred N.Gabsa

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