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The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation$
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Wolfgang Merkel, Raj Kollmorgen, and Hans-Jürgen Wagener

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829911.001.0001

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Postcolonial Transformations in Africa in the Twentieth Century

Postcolonial Transformations in Africa in the Twentieth Century

Chapter:
(p.307) Chapter 29 Postcolonial Transformations in Africa in the Twentieth Century
Source:
The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation
Author(s):

Siegmar Schmidt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198829911.003.0029

This chapter examines Africa’s transformation process, in which colonialism and postcolonialism are considered to be of prime importance in view of the fact that Africans fell victim to the transatlantic slave trade. The second chain of the African disaster was initiated due to the political and economic conquest by European imperialists. African societies, including their traditional authorities, were often degraded to simply tools, a state of affairs which was due to the different types of colonial administration. The new and independent states were mostly ill-prepared for democratically and economically stable systems. In the course of the following thirty years nearly all countries became hotchpotches of autocracies and consequently any measures of development were bound to fail. Rather surprisingly, various stages of democratization processes still began to be formed in the 1990s. In the long term, systems were caught in a grey zone between autocracy and democracy. Currently, between eight or nine countries are considered to be true democracies. Still quite ambivalent, however, is the current economic situation, because on the one hand exploiting raw materials certainly meant strong growth rates above the population rate, but on the other hand resources turn out to be a curse of massive corruption or even cruel civil wars.

Keywords:   colonialism, settler colonies, development, economic stagnation, autocracies, external factors, democratization processes

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