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Democratic Reform in Africa: The Quality of Progress

E. Gyimah-Boadi, editor
Democratic Reform in Africa: The Quality of Progress
ISBN: 978-1-58826-221-9
ISBN: 978-1-58826-246-2
ISBN: 978-1-62637-072-2
2004/351 pages/LC: 200302579

"An especially important and useful book."—Kenneth Good, Journal of Modern African Studies

"The empirical evidence amply displayed in this very useful volume does not support a focus on democracy and democratization, however much we ... may wish it did.... It is a credit to the authors that, however reluctantly, they provide us with the evidence to draw that conclusion."—Lisa Anderson, Perspectives on Politics

"For faculty who treat the democratization process in Africa as a work in progress, this is an excellent textbook."—Choice

"This is a wonderful volume —the insights are fresh, the empirical material current, and the thematic chapters complemented by engagingly written case studies. The chapters seem to speak to each other as they present a rich and wide-ranging picture of Africa's experiences with democracy and reform. The result is an invigorating and challenging collection."—Frank Holmquist, Hampshire College


After years of reform efforts in Africa, much of the optimism over the continent's prospects has been replaced by widespread "Afropessimism." But to what extent is either view well founded? Democratic Reform in Africa plumbs the key issues in the contemporary African experience—including intrastate conflict, corruption, and the development of civil society—highlighting the challenges and evaluating the progress of political and economic change.

Case studies of Botswana, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa complement the thematic chapters, exploring the complex interactions between democracy and development.


E. Gyimah-Boadi is professor of political science at the University of Ghana and executive director of the Center for Democratic Development, Accra.


  • Introduction—E. Gyimah-Boadi.
  • Africa: The Quality of Political Reform—E. Gyimah-Boadi.
  • Economic Reform: Patterns and Constraints—N. van de Walle.
  • What "The People" Say About Reforms—M. Bratton and R. Mattes.
  • Civil Society and Democratic Development—E. Gyimah-Boadi.
  • Corruption and Corruption Control—S.J. Kpundeh.
  • Conflict in Africa—S.J. Stedman and T. Lyons.
  • Botswana: The Path to Democracy and Development—P. Molutsi.
  • Mozambique: The Challenge of Democratization—B. Mazula.
  • Nigeria: Prospects for the Fourth Republic—A. Agbaje.
  • South Africa: Building Democracy After Apartheid—S. Friedman.
  • Promoting Real Reform in Africa—L. Diamond.