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Democracy in the South

Participation, the State and the People

image of Democracy in the South

Traditionally, studies on democracy have focused on the orthodox so-called Northern models of democratic governance, and within this framework, the extent to which Southern models are considered democratic. Democracy in the South is the first truly international collaboration that draws attention to the complex problems of democratic consolidation across the majority world. Nine case studies, three each from Africa, Latin America and Asia, shed light on the contemporary challenges faced by democratizing countries, mostly from the perspective of emerging theorists working in their home countries.

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The democratization process in Ghana: Key issues and challenges

Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain political independence, significantly ahead of other West African countries, including oil-rich regional giant Nigeria. After achieving independence in 1957, Ghana’s political history entailed a series of alternations between authoritarian and notional democratic rule, with three periods of elected government and three of military rule between 1957 and 1992. Except for the first republic under Kwame Nkrumah, the interludes of civilian government under the second (1969–1972) and third (1979–1981) republics have been short-lived, enduring for no longer than 30 months. Ghana’s most recent democratic transition in late 2008 has been more successful and has attracted international commendation. The constitutional and legal framework in place for the presidential and parliamentary elections is in line with international standards for the conduct of credible elections, to which Ghana is a signatory.

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