By Usman A. Tar
Because the overdue Eighties, the altering dynamic of worldwide improvement has pushed the tide of democratic growth within the constructing international. In Africa, western donors have sought to impose "neo-liberal" visions of socio-economic and political institution-building, spreading political reforms and fiscal liberalization with far-reaching results. linked to exterior interventions, but additionally occasionally conflicting with them, are inner protests opposed to authoritarianism, that have problematically bolstered and/or undermined the donor schedule for democratic reform.Here Usman Tar questions the idea that Africa used to be missing the fundamental elements for a spontaneous transition to democracy. He explores the dynamic, yet contradictory, hyperlinks among exterior and inner dimensions of neo-liberal democratic enlargement in Africa, targeting Nigeria. Tar dissects the struggles for democracy, and for democratic coverage and perform in a rustic with wealthy monetary strength, yet a political dispensation.
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Extra info for The Politics of Neoliberal Democracy in Africa: State and Civil Society in Nigeria (International Library of African Studies)
The second factor influencing the choice of topic for this research is associated with my ‘politics’, shaped by my modest experience in political and associational life in Nigeria. I have been involved over the years as both participant and observer in Nigeria’s transition to civil rule programmes, while serving on electoral and related bodies. In 1987 and 1990, I volunteered as a polling clerk and presiding officer for local government and gubernatorial elections respectively and, in the controversial 1993 presidential election, served as a volunteer for the then Nigerian Election Monitoring Group, a national election observer group founded by the government (implicitly ‘pro-democracy’ ) to ensure ‘free and fair’ elections.
This universality is the other principle of the civic community (Hegel, 1820 [2001: 154]) Hegel defines civic society as ‘the realm of difference, intermediate between the family and the state, although its construction followed in point of time the construction of the state’ (Hegel, 1820 [2001: 154]). Thus, the state emerges to provide a robust domain with equally robust structures – albeit dominated by some self-seeking men – to regulate unequal social, political and economic relations among ‘autonomous’ individuals/groups.
1999; Tar and Oumar 1999) and its empirical dynamics in the context of developing economies such as Nigeria (Tar and Sulu-Gambari 1997). These studies revealed the contested and problematic nature of democracy when applied to fragile political systems, and charted blueprints for further study, including a critical analysis of the state-civil society interface in the era of globalisation. Subsequent reading of the Nigerian and wider literature underscores the fact that internal pressures for political and economic reform spearheaded by organised associational entities representing civil society in Africa constitute a major and formidable force linked through complex discourses and political actions to the ‘Western’ agenda for democratisation (Beckman and Jega 1995; Ihonvbere 1991; 1996; Barchiesi 1996; 12 THE POLITICS OF NEOLIBERAL DEMOCRACY IN AFRICA Ibrahim 1997b, 1997d).