14 May 2010

Book: The Liberal Model and Africa: Elites Against Democracy

Kenneth Good, "The Liberal Model and Africa: Elites Against Democracy" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2001):


Publisher's description: "This book critically examines the realities of liberal democracy; its elitism and non-accountability; and its inequalities and injustices. Participatory systems and movements, whether in Athens, seventeenth and nineteenth century England, or South Africa 1970-1990, are more effective in satisfying the democratic aspirations of the people and in curtailing ambitious elites, than what is passed off now as 'democracy'. By interrogating contemporary democratic regimes, in the United States, and in Botswana and South Africa, the severe limitations and constraints inherent in liberal democracy are highlighted. The need for a clear evaluation of what constituted democracy emerges as a powerful message of Kenneth Good's argument."

Endorsements: "[A] searching, powerful and innovative critique of liberal democracy, notably as it has arrived in Southern Africa." (Roger Southall, Rhodes University)

"This is indeed a useful and timely contribution to the democracy debate in Africa." (Francis B. Nyamnjoh, University of Botswana)

Review: "[Kenneth Good] illustrates in this important book, no country [...] has embraced participatory democracy with its egalitarian face, preferring instead the elitism of the liberal model." ("The Sunday Independent")

Australian-born Kenneth Good was Professor of Political Studies at the University of Botswana. He was declared an "undesirable person" and deported from Botswana in 2005.

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