Armies and Politics: The ‘Lifecycle’ of Military Rule in Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa

  • Michel Louis Martin
Part of the St Antony’s/Macmillan Series book series


Seemingly on the wane today, praetorianism has been a conspicuous phenomenon affecting the politics of post-colonial sub-Saharan Africa. A brief look at the statistics reveals that, until the recent changes affecting Africa in the early 1990s, about two-thirds of all outbreaks of post-colonial political violence in sub-Saharan Africa have had military origins. Hardly a country has been spared such events, whether in the form of plots, mutinies, attempted coups or power struggles. A total of nearly seventy violent insurrections have been followed by the military occupation of the institutions of authority. In each case, members of the armed forces have effectively dominated the centres of state sovereignty, sometimes backed by an institutional framework, sometimes not. In 1990, twenty African countries were in this situation.2


Political System Armed Force Political Violence Military Regime Military Institution 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1995

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  • Michel Louis Martin

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