Political Instability and the Challenge of Democratization in Africa: A Conceptual Analysis

This essay seeks to explain the seeming persistence of political instability in Africa, in spite of the rapid spread of liberal democracy in the 1980s and 1990s. It examines the causes of political instability, its impact on democracy, and the prospects of its containment in Africa. Finally, it points to where future research and policy should focus to ensure that democracy in Africa grows into a robust system capable of withstanding political instability.