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State Constitutions and Governments without Essence in Post-Independence Africa

Governance along a Failure-Success Continuum with Illustrations from Benin, Cameroon and the DRC

Joy Alemazung

This book in a diagnostic approach looks at the problems plaguing Africa, a continent rich in human and natural resources yet the poorest in the world. The main question is: what is the purpose of government in Africa? As illustrated by different empirical examples, the study argues that the creation of states and governments after colonialism was a «false start» and was not impacted by the social contract principle of men forming government to preserve the common good. The result is a leadership culture of government against the people with weak institutions in favour of strong autocratic rulers. The core of this study is a solution seeking approach with alternative political forms.

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2.1 The success-failure continuum: variables and indicators ................... 90 2.2 The success story: Benin’s example ................................................... 97 2.3 Middling performers: Cameroon’s example ....................................... 99 2.4 The unsuccessful cases: DRC example............................................. 100 Chapter Three: National and international factors influencing African politics ................................................................................. 103 1. National factors ................................................................................. 105 1.1 Ethnic divisions, tribalism and neo-patrimonialism ......................... 106 1.2 African leadership flaws and fallibility............................................. 110 1.3 Traditional versus civil societies: between traditional and modern polity .................................................................................... 116 1.4 Political culture/mentality: in need of political socialisation ........... 124 2. International factors .......................................................................... 127 2.1 Colonial impact and legacy ............................................................... 128 2.2 Neo-colonialism: clients and European patrons ............................... 133 2.3 Economic interest, conditioned aid, Cold War and consequences ... 135 3. Africa and continental governance ................................................... 141 3.1 The OAU and governance in post-independent Africa .................... 143 3.2 From OUA to AU: NEPAD and APRM: Can the AU succeed where OUA failed? ......................................... 145 Chapter Four: Empirical Case Studies: Benin, Cameroon and DRC............... 151 1. Republic of Benin ............................................................................. 155 1.1 Independence, state constitution and failures ................................... 156 1.2 The reverse wave and failed governance .......................................... 159 1.3 The second liberation and the success of re-constitution ................. 160 1.4 Re-constitution, successful transition and consolidation .................. 163 2. (Federal/United) Republic of Cameroon .......................................... 165 2.2 The reverse wave and failed governance .......................................... 171 Table of Contents XIX 2.3 The second liberation: non-reconstitution and transition failure ...... 175 2.4 The dynamics of failures: ethnic divisions, clientelism and the Anglophone problem ............................................................ 179 2.4 Success, a farfetched dream? ............................................................ 184 3. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)............................................. 188 3.1 Independence, state constitution and government failures ............... 190 3.2 The reverse wave, harmful government and kleptocracy...

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