John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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African Democracy: Elections Despite Divisions

by John Campbell
October 27, 2011

Electoral violence in a number of sub-Sahara countries has prompted some Africa watchers to question whether the United States and other Western countries should be prioritizing “free, fair and credible” elections when the process so often polarizes a country rather than unifying it around democratic institutions and practices. Nevertheless, I believe the United States and other westerners should continue to do what they can to support Africans working to build free, fair, and peaceful democracies, not least because Africans themselves want elections, and there are no good alternatives.

Asch Harwood and I co-authored a piece published today by the CFR Civil Society, Democracy, and Markets program in which we lay out why we should continue to support African democracy despite the electoral potential for polarization.

I also did a Youtube video (posted above), where I make the same argument, as well as a short discussion about the importance of arms control in Africa.

H/T – Asch Harwood

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  • Posted by tinashe

    Is there anything like democracy in Africa.AS long as we continue to have revolutionary leaders in Africa like Mugabe of Zimbabwe the issue of democracy will never be attained.Their major argument is on cultural relativism which seeks to debase the issue of universal declaration of human rights so that they will maintain their status how best can we liberate ourselves from this Egyptian bondage.

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