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Global Democracy In A Post Cold War Era: A Multi-Country Comparative Assessment of Africa's Performance

By Rita Kiki Edozie, Department of Politica


In February 2004, responding to a militant opposition movement targeted against Haiti's Aristide democratic regime, US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, admirably responded to a concerned international community by announcing that the US' policy would be to not intervene in a democratically elected government but to instead allow democracy to mature. Powell's announcement implied that Haiti's opposition use electoral institutions to change the country's undesirable leadership. However, two weeks later, from a remote location in Bangui, the capital of the Central Africal Republic, President Aristide was charging that the US had 'kidnapped' him through a forced exile and had colaborated with counter insurgent groups in ousting his regime (Washington Post). As evidenced by the joint call by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the African Union (AU) for an investigation into events which led Aristide's removal from power, the Haitian incident set of an international crisis over democracy, globalization and especially for questions regarding national security in small, weak underdeveloped states.

Ironically, six months earlier, similar events in Liberia in West Africa were silent on the controversial questions raised by the Haitian crisis. Until the very end while diplomatically negotiating his exit from the crisis-ridden Liberian capital with ECOWAS leaders, former President Charles Taylor insisted that he was a democratically-elected leader who was being ousted by international forces (New African).

The growing failures of 'internationally supervised democratic transitions' and new 'global governance' foreign policy responses toward the world's more marginalized, peripheral democracies in the developing world informs important new epistemological questions for scholars of international relations and democratization.

In 'Global Democracy in a Post Cold War Era', Edozie presents as the main thesis an analyis of the relationship between globalization and democracy in Africa on the one hand, especially highlighting the role of the US as a leading advanced industrial donor country undertaking global governance in the developing world; and on the other Edozie examines the effects of the promotion of liberal democracy as a cornerstone of 'global' international affairs policy in select African countries where externally influenced democratization has been most pronounced since the 1990s. Zimbabwe, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa and Kenya stand out as important African case studies for examining these contradictory effects of recent trajectories in globalization and democracy. Democratization in all ten countries, for example, have been 'directly' influenced by post Cold War US-global pro-democracy strategeis. Aside from Kenya and Uganda, all eight other cases have recently established or re-established modern democratic institutions as part of internationally or regionally-supervised post-conflict peace transitions. Moreover, 'Third Wave' global democratization policies have directly influenced South Africa, Zimbabwe- and to a lesser extent Kenya and Uganda- through international 'sanctions' regimes and more recently through a new 'global governance' policy that 'guarantees global citizens the right to a democratic form of government'.

The current study will present these countries in a multi-country comparative case study for the purpose of examining the more nuanced and incisive dynamics that have occurred as a result of global/US-Africa democracy relations.

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