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Managing Conflicts in Africa's Democratic Transitions

Edited by Akanmu G. Adebayo - Contributions by Oluwakemi Abiodun Adesina; Mike Adeyeye; Joseph Kingsley Adjei; Judith S.K. Achoka; Edoh Agbehonou; Abiodun Alao; Abdul Karim Bangura; Haluk Baran Bingol; Sarah Okaebea Danso; Oumar Chérif Diop; Andrew I.E. Ewoh; Samy S. Gerges; Chux Ibekwe; Attahiru Jega; Brandon D. Lundy; Edward L. Mienie; Wamocha J. Nasongo; ’Lai Olurode; Mara J. Roberts; Ilona Tip; Richard Vengroff and Lydiah L.M. Wamocha

The democratization process which bolstered a culture of periodic elections has also fostered election-related violent conflicts. As democratic transitions gained currency in the new millennium, orderly transitions through the ballot boxes began replacing military coups but deaths and destructions came in the wake of elections in many countries. Inspired by decades-long pro-democracy movements across Africa that culminated in the Arab Spring of 2010-2011, and motivated by the desire to find long-term solutions to election-related violent conflicts in the continent, this book explores the terrain of democratization, elections, and conflict management. It raises and answers many questions, such as: What are the root causes of election-related conflicts? How free, fair, and credible are elections in many African countries? What institutional mechanisms are available for ballot and voter security and for mandate protection? What has been the role of civil society organizations in conflict prevention and management? What are the responsibilities of the international community, especially regional organizations like the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU), in conflict resolution? What indigenous mechanisms for conflict management have been identified that may be proactively engaged? « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 370Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-0-7391-7263-6 • Hardback • August 2012 • $105.00 • (£70.00)
978-0-7391-7264-3 • eBook • August 2012 • $99.00 • (£65.00)
Akanmu G. Adebayo is professor of history and interim director of the Center for Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University (KSU), Kennesaw, Georgia. He was also formerly executive director of the Institute for Global Initiatives at KSU. He received his education at the University of Ife (renamed Obafemi Awolowo University) and earned his PhD in history, focusing on economic history. He is author, co-author, and co-editor of many books, and his articles have been published in many scholarly journals. His most recent publications include a co-edited book Marginality and Crisis: Globalization and Identity in Contemporary Africa (Lexington Books, 2010), and a monograph In the Sphere of the Dragon: China’s Economic Relations with Africa in the New Millennium (Ibadan School of History Monograph Series, 2010). In addition, he is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Global Initiatives.
Part One: Understanding Africa’s Democratization, Elections, and Conflicts
Chapter 1: Dreams and Nightmares: Democratization, Elections, and Conflicts in Africa
Chux Ibekwe and Akanmu G. Adebayo
Chapter 2: Security in Post-Civil War Democratic Transitions in Africa
Abiodun Alao and Mike Adeyeye
Chapter 3: Traumatics: The Representation of Trauma in Yvonne Vera’s Without a Name
Oumar Cherif Diop

Part Two: Domestic and International Issues and Actors
Chapter 4: Democratization and Post-Election Conflicts in Nigeria since Independence: A Historical Reconsideration
Oluwakemi Abiodun Adesina
Chapter 5: Incumbency as a Factor: Appropriation of State Security Resources and Electoral Governance in Nigeria
’Lai Olurode
Chapter 6: Religion and Political Activism in Egypt
Samy Gerges
Chapter 7: Democratization in Senegal: The Failure of the “Sopi” Revolution
Haluk B. Bingol and Richard Vengroff
Chapter 8: The Involution of Democracy in Lusophone West Africa
Brandon D. Lundy
Chapter 9: Conflict Analysis of the 2007 Post-election Violence in Kenya
Mara J. Roberts
Chapter 10: The French Press and Position on Post-Election Crisis in Côte d’Ivoire
Edoh Agbehonou
Chapter 11: United States Foreign Policy Responses to Africa’s Transition Conflicts
Andrew Ewoh

Part Three: Conflict Resolution Options
Chapter 12: Post-Election Conflict Resolution in Africa: Lessons from African Peace Paradigms
Abdul Karim Bangura
Chapter 13: An African Model? Conflict Management in Ghana’s 2008 Presidential Elections
Joseph Kingsley Adjei
Chapter 14: Lessons from South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for Managing Africa’s Conflicts
Edward L. Mienie
Chapter 15: Could Forgiveness and Amnesty Be a Panacea to Kenya’s Post-Election Conflict Era?
Joseph W. Nasongo, Lydiah L. M. Wamocha, and Judith S. K. Achoka
Chapter 16: Establishing Electoral Conflict Management Panels: A Case Study of South Africa
Ilona Tip
Chapter 17: Post-Electoral Conflict in la Côte d’Ivoire: Road Map to Peace
Sarah O. Danso

Democratization unfolds in three logical phases: ‘democratic opening’ which is marked by the collapse of an authoritarian regime; ‘democratic transition’ which is usually associated with the conduct of a credible election, and; ‘democratic consolidation’ evidenced by the entrenchment of democratic ethos of fairly permanent basis. The provocative and innovative papers in this book present Africa as a continent caught in seemingly perpetual ‘democratic transition’; it is a continent lacking in strong capacity to consolidate democratic governance. Departing remarkably from the synchronic analyses of the past, the publication adopts a diachronic approach in reviewing the factors responsible for this problem and the efforts being made to deal with the disturbing situations. In particular, the book interrogates the adversarial and non-adversarial strategies for managing the problems associated with democratic transitions in the continent. These well treated issues take us to the heart of a major factor in contemporary Africa’s underdevelopment. A key lesson from the publication is that as long as Africa fails to arrive at actionable strategies for managing its election disputes, it would continue to be a battle ground for domestic and international conflict entrepreneurs. Suggestions are made on how to improve the situation. This makes the book to be of significant academic and policy interest. Students of peace and conflict studies, political science, history, sociology and development workers would find the book to be extremely useful.
Isaac Olawale Albert, director, Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Nigeria and board chairman, Society for Peace Studies and Practice