Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Initiative on Religion in International Affairs, 2010–2011
December 16, 2010
Op-Ed, The Huffington Post
By John F. McCauley, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Initiative on Religion in International Affairs, 2010–2011
"The wave of democracy that swept across sub-Saharan Africa in the 1990s rested largely on promises of favorable loan conditions and peace-driven prosperity, but the dividends to leaders themselves proved to be only temporary. What is more, the process of democratization in Africa often included reforms of the political party system and elections, yet institutions to constrain the power of political leaders in an environment accustomed to "Big Man" rule never fully materialized. Thus, with notable exception in places like Ghana, the incentive to remain in office at all costs once again appears greater to many African leaders than do the incentives to relinquish power peacefully. At worst, those leaders calculate, international observers will justifiably accept a power-sharing arrangement to avert potential violence."