Title: The continuity of 'autocratic presidency' in Africa's democratisation project

Authors: Dickson Ogbonnaya Igwe

Addresses: P.O. Box 10117 Marina, Lagos State, Nigeria, Africa West

Abstract: This paper is about the movement of African states toward, or away, from democratisation with position that capacity building is a check to the predominance of political dictatorship and authoritarianism. Literature reverberate the contribution of presidents and in that context their roles in the dislocation of democratic values. Taking a sway on the neoclassical orientation of African presidents, the paper surmised that to mean nothing altruistic but pervasive and informal personalisation of state resources, using patron-client networks. These ties radiate down from the biggest |big man| the imperial president to his lieutenants and allies serving as patrons to lower-level power brokers, down to the fragmented mass of ordinary citizens, trapped in relations of dependence on their local political patrons. The political economy of power relation in Africa beyond national boundaries is located within the network of neo-colonial institutional gamix over the colonised generating inequality, dependency that sustains autocratic presidency.

Keywords: democratisation; capacity building; autocratic presidencies; personal rule; patron-client networks; clientele; dictatorships; neo-colonial orientation; continuity; presidents; democracy; democratic government; African states; Africa; authoritarianism; democratic values; neoclassical orientation; altruism; pervasive personalisation; informal personalisation; state resources; imperial presidents; lieutenants; presidential allies; imperialist behaviour; power brokers; citizens; dependence; dependency relations; political patrons; political economy; power relations; national boundaries; institutional gamix; colonised peoples; colonisation; colonies; inequalities; public policy; economic policies; alternative paradigms.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPP.2011.039582

International Journal of Public Policy, 2011 Vol.7 No.1/2/3, pp.180 - 194

Published online: 14 Jan 2015 *

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