The impact of the colonial legacy on Civil-Military Relations in Africa : Chad and the Sudan as comparative case studies
Bechir, Mahamoud Adam
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The end of the Cold War has resulted in a general tendency towards democratization all over the world. The United States and other Western countries such as France and Britain are determined to help African countries establish democratic institutions and improve good governance. The reluctance and instability of many African societies and regimes to democratize inspired the research questions of this thesis: (1) Why is Africa so vulnerable to military coups? (2) Why is political and economic modernization so difficult in Africa? (3) What is wrong with Africa? (4) Can Africans ever get out of their conflicts and integrate into the world political and economic systems? Scholars have suggested several explanations for Africa's political instability and military interventions including, political development theory, military centrality theory, ethnic antagonism theory, and world system/dependency theory. Although I do not rule out that any of these causal mechanisms have contributed to some extent to Africa's political instability. However, in my opinion, these theories underestimate the significant role played by the colonial experience in shaping African political culture. By using Chad and the Sudan as comparative case studies of former colonies of France and Britain, the thesis illustrates the relevance of my colonial-legacy theory. Chad and the Sudan are almost similar in every aspect except the former colonial power. Variations in the patterns of their civil-military relations are explained by variations in the nature of their colonial experiences.
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