Respecting Diversity

  • Carlos Lopes


For change to happen Africa must resolve pervasive political obstacles. This includes the most important political challenge: respect for diversity. Current African political trends demonstrate a heavy dependence on past theories about the role of the state. This is understandable, given the central role colonial authorities played and the successive authoritarian adaptations of the inherited state machinery. Defective implementation of democratic dispensations contributed to legitimise non-democratic actors or to diminish the space for dissent or participation of minorities. It is time to squarely address the controversies surrounding the interpretations of democracy and the influence of external agents in the domestic developments in most African countries. This is a precondition to renew the commitments to pan-Africanism while adjusting that powerful ideology to modern times.


Identity Diversity Pan-Africanism Perceptions Democracy Political systems Ideology Historical context Inclusive societies Freedom 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Lopes
    • 1
  1. 1.Mandela School of Public GovernanceUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa

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