ISBN 9789780294328
Pages 444
Dimensions 229 x 152 mm
Published 2003
Publisher Spectrum Books, Nigeria
Format Paperback

Constitutional Democracy in Africa. Vol. 1

Structures, Powers and Organising Principles of Government

by Ben Nwabueze

This five-volume work received a Special Commendation in the 2005 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa.

In this landmark five-volume work, constitutional democracy is portrayed as a metaphor of an edifice standing on many pillars: the rule of law, equality and justice, a market-orientated economy, and a democratic ethos. The edifice itself is constituted by a government freely elected by the popular majority, and limited in its powers by a supreme constitution with overriding legal powers.

The study examines in broad theoretical terms the structures, institutions and organising principles of constitutional, democratic government. More specifically, it considers how constitutional democracy and other various forms of government have been applied in practice in Africa. By contrasting the virtues of constitutional democracy with the shortcomings of authoritarian rule, Ben Nwabwueze elucidates his thesis that there is no better system of rule than constitutional democracy to ensure viable governance of human society, and the realisation of human potential. Finally, the author examines the conditions and changes required to instate constitutional democracy in Africa, and assesses the prospects of it being sustained.

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Review

"A magisterial and authoritative treatment of all aspects of constitutional democracy in Africa. The author cares very deeply about democracy thriving in Africa, but never weakens his objectivity in assessing its history or prospects. It places the author securely as one of Africa's great scholars."

Noma Award Jury Citation
About the Author

Ben Nwabueze

Ben Nwabueze is a distinguished Professor of law, a leading scholar of constitutional law and a practising lawyer, based in Lagos, Nigeria.

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