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Political History of Guinea since World War Two

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Mohamed Saliou Camara

Political History of Guinea since World War Two provides an in-depth study of the political evolution of Guinea from World War Two to the present. Based on primary-source information, it examines with rare depth and breadth the eventful history of this nation-state, whose trajectory has impacted in no small ways Francophone Africa and the rest of the continent. Interviews with some of the most knowledgeable and most credible actors and/or witnesses of Guinea’s political history and archival research, including the papers of key individuals never opened to the public before, constitute the foundation of this work. The author’s personal and professional experience further strengthens the work. As a native Guinean, a historian, and a journalist imbued with the political ideology of the PDG regime, the author was also a close and alert witness of the political transformation of this country. Hence, the book offers an incisive analysis of domestic politics and policy making under the five successive regimes that have governed Guinea since independence in 1958. It also offers an equally incisive analysis of the country’s foreign relations within international frameworks such as the Organization of African Unity, the United Nations, the Nonalignment Movement, the Economic Community of West African States, the Mano River Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and so on. This ground-breaking work is perfectly suited for courses in areas such as history, political science, African studies, decolonization studies, Third World studies, and nationalism studies.
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Part III. Guinea under the Regime of Lansana Conté and during Its Aftermath: 1984–2012

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III

Guinea under the Regime of Lansana Conté and during Its Aftermath: 1984–2012

Military coups and junta rule have been studied from a variety of angles and the works of scholars such as Claude Welch, Jr.,1 William Foltz and Henry Bienen,2 J. Gus Liebenow,3 and Robert Edgerton provide useful comparative tools toward a better understanding of the phenomenon. For Pierre Van Den Bergher, the relative facility with which military coups swept aside civilian regimes, including some that seemed entrenched as any in Africa, was due to the fact that “almost all African states have precarious political institutions, even those which seemed to have developed monolithic one-party systems.”4 The author of the present study has argued in a previous publication, as well, that a careful sociological autopsy of military putsches set them apart from one another if only because major aspects of the coup-making patterns reflect significant differences from one country to another.5 Nevertheless, African coup makers in general frame their agendas on the basis of similar sets of premises or, more accurately, sets of assumptions.

Juntas assume or allege that the civilian regimes that they overthrow are corrupt, incompetent, and non-amenable to democratic governance and sustainable development. Also, they assume that the corporate nature of the military prepares it, better than it does any other stratum of the society, to undertake and successfully carry out the deconstruction/reconstruction strategy required to adequately change the existing situation. The...

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