The Consequences of Integrating Democracy in West African Countries

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Introduction Over the course of the 19th and 20th century, West Africa has had nearly fifty conflicts ranging from acts of extreme civil disobedience to full-scale civil war. The levels of atrocities are some of the most depraved acts committed against one human against another in modern day history. Often the outside world watches on as these countries destroy each other, and considering the fact that many of these countries possess valuable natural resources, the capacity to continually perpetuate conflict remains present. The main purpose of this paper will be to discuss many of the consequences associated with the integration of democracy in emerging West African countries at the close of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and colonialism. Could the integration of democracy within inherently tribal cultures be a causal effect for civil war in West Africa? The main premise will focus on the case of Sierra Leone, and the descent into a string of civil wars that turned the country into a failed state for over a decade in modern history. Methodology The hypothesis of this paper will present the idea that civil war in West Africa is often a byproduct of weak central governments using the guise of democracy as a vehicle to create nepotistic pseudo tribal-like governing institutions. In the end, large portions of the population are marginalized by a small group of elites who control the majority of the country’s wealth. De Hoyos 3 Longstanding ethnic/tribal power disputes, corruption, and other forms of inequality create large gaps in income distribution amongst the population under the emergence of democratic governance. The democratic entity ultimately becomes the tool to perpetuate nepotism, corruption, and other flagrant ... ... middle of paper ... ...d Visions of Race, Science, and Religion (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2010). LeVert Suzanne, Sierra Leone (New York: Benchmark Books (NY), 2007). Miller Joseph Calder, Way of Death: Merchant Capitalism and the Angolan Slave Trade, 1730-1830(publication place: University of Wisconsin Press, 1996), 1. Mulaj Kledja, ed., Violent Non-State Actors in World Politics (Columbia/Hurst) (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010), page 280. Pham, J. Peter. Child Soldiers, Adult Interests: the Global Dimensions of the Sierra Leonean Tragedy. New York: Nova Science Pub Inc., 2005. "HISTORY OF ANGOLA." HISTORY OF ANGOLA. History World, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. Wright, Gavin Slavery and American Economic Development (Walter Lynwood Fleming Lectures in Southern History), Reprint ed. (publication place: Louisiana State University Press, 2013).

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