Democracy Emerging/Submerged in Africa

From the Economist Intelligence Unit, via the Guardian, this collection of data describes some dynamics of democracy in Africa at present.

The intersections of authoritarian regimes and high voter registration and turnout is telling of the complex nature of democracy and what is means in different parts of the continent. If Mauritius is the Economist’s only ‘full democracy’ in Africa, then how easily can massive countries with histories and presents of raging inequality and conflict be comparable? It seems that hopeful candidates for good democratic indicators here include (outside the troubling case of South Africa) Namibia, Senegal and Ghana. Note also the leader hall of shame: oppressors and dictators driving their countries in a race to the bottom!

Guardian article here

Your comments on the content and presentation of this data are welcome!



3 thoughts on “Democracy Emerging/Submerged in Africa”

  1. At the end of the day ‘democracy is a pretty difficult issue to quantify. I mean if you put a bunch of election monitors and sent them to observe an election in Stalinist Russia, isn’t it plausible the process could conceivably tick all the right boxes, without even remotely being a democracy?


  2. Yes, that seems to be the impression from the information presented here; one would imagine that most Western (at least the powerful ones) states would fall into similar classifications of flawed democracies. Are there, then, better ways to analyze “political development”?


  3. I can’t think of any that depend entirely on Quantitative data. Methinks at the end of the day without contextualising such data with case studies or narrativi of the citizens’ experiences with elective politics, then these numbers just don’t say enough


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