Analysing Democratic Transitions

  • Anthony Butler


This chapter has three key purposes. First, I explore the strengths and weaknesses of the academic literature on democratization and examine the three major schools of thought represented within it. Second, I show how the history of democratization has shaped the literature which analyses it. Third, I demonstrate the systematic weaknesses of this analysis for understanding political change in southern and South Africa. My focus is on the role of external actors in sub-Saharan Africa and analysts’ failure to take seriously the experiences of African states. Africans have not merely suffered the imposition of external forces; they have had their history ignored by professional analysts of political transition.


Civil Society Political Science Political Change Liberal Democracy Modernization Approach 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Anthony Butler 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Butler
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NottinghamUK

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