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Compatible Cultural Democracy

This book argues that it is time for African nations to govern themselves using modified, indigenous political structures and ideologies. Osabu-Kle closely examines the colonization experience and the massive transplantation of Western political forms as well as the post-independence period of structural transformation. He delves into the makeup of a number of indigenous African political systems: the Ovimbunda, Zulu, Ashanti, and Ga peoples whose cultures, though geographically distant, exhibit common characteristics, including consensualism and a balance between centralization and decentralization to check the abuse of power. Osabu-Kle argues that only a type of democracy compatible with the historic African cultural environment is capable of achieving the political conditions for successful development. But he goes beyond establishing that precolonial African political systems were democratic. Rather, he describes how the indigenous political culture might be modified to achieve the political conditions necessary to work towards a successful future. This dynamically written, lively, and informed study provides a provocative challenge to conventional Western commentaries on Africa and current thinking about the continent's "re-democratization."
Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface * Introduction: Variants of Democratic Practice * The Great Transplantation * The Post-Independence Problem * Typical African Political Systems * Towards the Modification of African Political Culture * Ghana: Tactical Action, Socialism, and the Military * Nigeria: Oil, Coups, and Ethnic War * Kenya: Settler Ideology and the Struggle for Majimbo * Tanzania: Ujamaa Partisan Politics in Ethnic Garb * Somalia: Experiments with Democracy, Military Rule, and Socialism * Senegal: From French Colonialism to the Failure of Partisan Politics * Rwanda: From Success Story to Human Disaster * Congo (Kinshasa): "A Most Lethal Poison..." * Conclusion: Establishing an African (Jaku) Democracy Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author

Daniel T. Osabu-Kle is a Professor in the Department of Political Science, Carleton University


This book argues that it is time for African nations to govern themselves using modified, indigenous political structures and ideologies.

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