ISBN 9789970253111
Pages 466
Dimensions 210 x 148 mm
Published 2015
Publisher Fountain Publishers, Uganda
Format Paperback

African Democracy

Its Origins and Development in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania

by Gardner Thompson

The concepts of democracy and good governance have been at the centre of criticism of governments all over the world. What democracy entails, however, has never been agreed, most notably on the African continent. African politicians who have been criticised for reigning over 'undemocratic' regimes have insisted that the West judges them by criteria that don't apply to African circumstances. Is there such a thing as African democracy? Informed and intrigued by two events that happened in different eras, in different countries, Gardner Thompson has written an in-depth historical examination of the nature of 'imported' democracy as practised in the East African countries of Uganda, where he worked as a young History teacher in the 70s, Kenya and Tanzania. The events were the 1971 Amin capture of power from Milton Obote in Uganda, and the post-election violence that rocked Kenya in 2007/2008, pitting then incumbent Mwai Kibaki against his erstwhile colleague Raila Odinga, along what many read to be tribal lines. Dividing the book into three sections, Thompson treats democracy in the three former colonies from the perspectives of pre-independence (colonialism), the transition to independence, and governance since independence. Reflecting indigenous history, the colonial past and evolving culture, flawed but functioning forms of government have emerged in the three states.

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About the Author

Gardner Thompson

Gardner Thompson taught in Kampala from 1970 to 1972. Following an MA at the School of Oriental and African Studies, he undertook research on the colonial period in Uganda, at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, and was awarded his PhD by London University in 1990. The 2003 publication of Governing Uganda: British Colonial Rule and its Legacy led to his election as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He taught History and Politics at Dulwich College, London, from which he retired as academic vice-principal in 2007.

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