Is Democracy in itself a foreign import in Africa?
- Theoretical Framework
- The United States in decline?
- Challenging traditional stances
- Structural challenge: overcoming the hegemony
- The situation in China
- Tracks of thought
- Collapse of China
- Comparative Advantage
In Western thought, the concept of democracy is at the center of political debate. In classical political conceptions, it is equated with the notion of progress, all companies, from the moment it is evolving inevitably tends to become more democratic. It must tend to any political system and it is present (either form direct or participatory) even more than what, we imagine the ideal system and society. It is true that this vague concept and a little wave of democracy in the West is defined by specific criteria like the existence of a representative system (direct and / or indirect), the existence of the electoral principle and its access to the largest number, the multi-party (the west tends to demonize the single party dictatorship of documentation) or the alternation of ruling parties.
It is true that today democracy is a real issue of legitimacy of the government pushing for authoritarian regimes to hold mock election, evidenced by the case of Burma, or that its implementation is sufficient to justify military intervention, example of the Americans who organized the elections in Iraq three months after "invading"
And the West tries to generalize its obsession by now following closely the emergence of sub-Saharan Africa region under development and which managed to free itself from the European colonial presence only in the last fifty years. Today Africa continues what we call a democratic learning and each electoral event is watched closely by the old settlers.
It is true that the electoral principles, such as institutions of these countries, were imported by the settlers. Import, an action Bayart defined as "the transfer within a given society, of a model of political, economic and social development, forged or invented a story that is foreign and belongs to a different fundamental order " .
If the frame is imported, you may wonder if we can consider the notion of democracy as also imported, in other words, foreign to African societies? This would mean that it is still "artificial" and that the West would continue to exercise a kind of "mentoring"
The guardianship of Europe: paradigm of the yoke and colonial heritage - "Africa is not interesting from the standpoint of its own history but by the fact that we see the man in a state of barbarism and savagery that prevents him from even being part of civilization, Africa as far back as history depicts, was unrelated to the rest of the world, and is the land of gold, folded on itself, the country of childhood, beyond the day of conscious history, enveloped in the color of the night. "
This quote from Hegel demonstrates the denial of the historicity plaguing Africa. For many Western thinkers, African history really begins with the invaders and colonizers. Before, these "almost uninhabitable countries" (Montesquieu) were mired in cultural stagnation and traditionalism, the notion of progress did not exist, the "savages" living under the guidance of a local despot.
Tags: legitimacy of the government, concept of democracy, authoritarian regimes