The Fragility of a Clientelist Democracy
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In the conclusion of his book on Democracy in Senegal, Sheldon Gellar (2005: 171) offers an insightful assessment of the comparative value of Senegal’s experience with democracy. He argues that Senegalese democracy is neither a reflection of Western democratic systems, “which have different histories, traditions, and physical environments,” nor can it serve as a model for other African countries for similar reasons. The comparative value of studying Senegal is instead the analytical insights it provides us into the opportunities and obstacles to the transition and consolidation of democracy in African countries that have more recently undertaken democratization, as well as countries in other regions that share with Senegal a similar clientelist basis for political authority within a democratic regime.
KeywordsPolitical Participation Presidential Election Civil Liberty Liberal Democracy Political Competition
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