Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Seeing Like a Democracy: Africa's Prospects for Transforming the North Atlantic Paradigm

Harry C. Boyte
African Journal of Political Science / Revue Africaine de Science Politique
Vol. 9, No. 1 (June 2004), pp. 104-124
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23493681
Page Count: 21
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
Preview not available

Abstract

Africa holds the potential to successfully challenge the dominant technocratic, state-centered, market-oriented understanding of democracy that the US and European nations espouse. Despite prevalent "Afro-pessimism", especially in the West, fueled by poverty, HIV/AIDS, violence, water shortages, environmental degradation and other problems, the growing stirrings of the centrality of "the people" rather than "the state" in African democracy discourse creates foundations for a robust participatory alternative to Western democracy. The accent on bringing the people back to the centre of democracy is coupled with a growing emphasis on the centrality of the political, understood in richer and deeper ways than ideology, party politics, or narrowly distributive struggles over who gets what. A new African paradigm of people-centered democracy and citizen-owned politics can energise a dynamic, people-oriented development project. The key is to inform the theory of participatory democracy and popular politics with insights from actual, real world experiences in such politics that have been spreading, largely out of public sight, in diverse settings in South Africa, Tanzania, and elsewhere. These nascent stirrings suggest a new paradigm created from the combination of theory and practice. Such a paradigm points toward democracy not mainly as economic growth and free elections but rather as a flourishing way of life, balancing public goods with private wealth, embedding the market in democratic values. If realised, the vision of democracy as a way of life in Africa and its animating, citizen-owned politics can help spark a rebirth of positive liberty in the 21st century across the world.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[104]
    [104]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
105
    105
  • Thumbnail: Page 
106
    106
  • Thumbnail: Page 
107
    107
  • Thumbnail: Page 
108
    108
  • Thumbnail: Page 
109
    109
  • Thumbnail: Page 
110
    110
  • Thumbnail: Page 
111
    111
  • Thumbnail: Page 
112
    112
  • Thumbnail: Page 
113
    113
  • Thumbnail: Page 
114
    114
  • Thumbnail: Page 
115
    115
  • Thumbnail: Page 
116
    116
  • Thumbnail: Page 
117
    117
  • Thumbnail: Page 
118
    118
  • Thumbnail: Page 
119
    119
  • Thumbnail: Page 
120
    120
  • Thumbnail: Page 
121
    121
  • Thumbnail: Page 
122
    122
  • Thumbnail: Page 
123
    123
  • Thumbnail: Page 
124
    124