The quality of sub-Sahara African democracies in the 21st century : the role of European colonizers
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.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Democracy
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Cosgrove, Melissa N., "The quality of sub-Sahara African democracies in the 21st century : the role of European colonizers" (2009). HIM 1990-2015. 816.