Political transition to democracy : the role of the security sector and regional economic communities in Zimbabwe and Cote d'ivoire's democratic puzzle

Obert HODZI

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

Abstract

This paper argues that the crisis of electoral democracy in Zimbabwe and Cote d'Ivoire is a result of underlying structural and institutional deficiencies within national and regional multinational institutions. It assesses the extent to which they have been ‘enablers’ or ‘spoilers’ of electoral-based transitions to democracy. Yet it avoids generalisations of the security sector's involvement in political transitions. In terms of structure, the paper is divided into four sections. Section one will briefly discuss the theoretical perspectives of the election-democracy trajectory. It argues that although elections are a major variable for democracy, unless the ‘ecology of elections’ is conducive, elections may not be an instrument of transition to democracy. The second section analyses the militarisation of politics and the role of the security sector in aiding or stalling democratisation. Section three will assess the role of regional organisations such as the Southern African Development Community, Economic Community of West African States and the African Union in electoral-based political transitions in Africa. Lastly, the paper will discuss how the security sector and multinational African institutions can aid political transitions to democracy in troubled African countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-306
Number of pages12
JournalAfrican Security Review
Volume23
Issue number3
Early online date24 Jun 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • democratisation
  • political transition
  • security sector
  • multinational institutions
  • elections
  • Zimbabwe
  • Cote d'Ivoire

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