Title

The quality of sub-Sahara African democracies in the 21st century : the role of European colonizers

Abstract

What has caused the. African continent to remain fragmented, underdeveloped, and lacking liberal democracies? The present study attempts to quantitatively and qualitatively assess the effect European colonialism has had on sub-Saharan Africa democratic development. The research finds that problems of democratic consolidation in sub-saharan Africa are not necessarily due to the primitiveness of government institutions or trivial ethnic tensions, as generally believed. Instead the case is made that decades of absolute and arbitrary rule under European colonizers has hampered democratic development. Disregard for humanity and civility by the European colonial states made a peaceful transition after independence nearly impossible. The current complex challenges obstructing democratic consolidation in sub-Saharan Africa can be understood by examining the region's colonial history.

This research project takes into account the uniqueness of Africa's experience by steering away from the traditional Western approach to truly understand Africa's democratic plight. Extensive qualitative research was conducted in order to determine the reasons why democracy is lacking in a majority of sub-Saharan Africa. The effects of European colonialism, the necessary factors for democratic transition, and why democratization is still limited in the region were all examined. While colonialism may not be the sole reason for sub-Saharan Africa's failed democracies, this research finds that it is the instigator of centuries of social, political, and ethnic strife.

Notes

This item is only available in print in the UCF Libraries. If this is your thesis or dissertation, you can help us make it available online for use by researchers around the world by downloading and filling out the Internet Distribution Consent Agreement. You may also contact the project coordinator Kerri Bottorff for more information.

Thesis Completion

2009

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Schraufnagel, Scot

Degree

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Degree Program

Political Science

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Democracy

Format

Print

Identifier

DP0022339

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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