Since the dawn of the post-colonial era in the various regions of the “Global South,” including Africa, the appropriate role of the state in the development process has been a frontier issue. The resulting debate has revolved around two major trajectories: the minimalist state and the maximalist state. The former, shaped by the liberal cum neo-liberal Weltanschauung, posits that the state should have a limited role in socio-economic development—basically the creation of propitious conditions for the private accumulation of capital. Essentially, the suzerainty over the development process should rest with the “market” and its associated forces, particularly businesses. On the other hand, the maximalist state perspective asserts that the state should have a prominent role in the development process, including serving as the engine. Importantly, the debate has gone through various cycles, each dominated by the minimalist state paradigm.
In spite of the hegemony of the minimalist state perspective, several states in the “Global South” have experimented with various models of state dirigisme — the “developmental state:” authoritarian (e.g. Singapore and South Korea) and democratic (e.g. Botswana and Mauritius). Against this backdrop, using the lessons learned from the experiences of some of the states in the “Global South” that have experimented with variants of the developmental state model, this article concluded that the social democratic developmental state is the best trajectory for promoting human-centered democracy and development in Africa.
The paper examines three interrelated issues: 1) The nature and dynamics of the Western-led "crusade for democratization in Africa;" 2) the obstacles to democratization and peace; and 3) the prospects for democratization and peace. The major finding is that because the Western-led crusade emphasizes political procedures, and neglects the centrality of "bread and butter issues," it will not facilitate democratization and peace.
The issue of post-conflict elections has become one of the major areas in both the scholarly literature and in policy circles. This is because post-conflict elections are considered critical to the peacebuilding process in war-torn societies. The rationale is that post-conflict elections can be used to address the vexing problem of choosing the leadership for states recovering from war. With the leadership chosen in the context of free, fair and transparent elections, it can then shepherd the arduous process of rebuilding the society.
In this vein, using the first post-conflict election in Liberia as a case study, this article examines the electoral landscape, and the factors that led to the Taylor-led National Patriotic Party (NPP) winning a landslide victory.
This paper aims to conceptualize a framework for better understanding the challenges, actions and rationales of the African and Asian small powers in the post-1989 global order. The paper will be divided into three parts. First, it will review the literature on small power/state studies. Second, following a critique of the major approaches in small power studies, we will argue for the need for a critical realist perspective to better capture the relationships between domestic politics and foreign relations of the small power in Africa and Asia. Third, against the comparative trajectories in which the u.s. has attained global hegemony after 1991 and China has gradually become a great power after 2000, in light of the recent u.s. containment policy shift towards China which has stirred up versatile dynamics of East Asian small power politics, in favor of a global multi-polarity, we will highlight the foundation of our approach for building the strong small powers in terms of two main aspects of economic nationalism: resource-focused and sovereignty-asserting.