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Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya

Volume 1, Issue 1, June 2009

Ademola Kazeem Fayemi
Pages 101-126

Towards an African Theory of Democracy

This paper argues that there is a general absence of democratic theory in African political scholarship in terms of providing the underlying principles, meaning, canons and criteria of democracy in African culture. The paper exposes the conceptual errors implicit in the conflation of democracy as a concept and as practiced in different political systems. Consequently, it contends that an eclectic appraisal of our indigenous democratic values and practices as well as democratic ideas from other cultural traditions can provide a resonant African theory of democracy. The paper concludes that eclecticism is consociational in principle, and can help solve many of the contemporary socio-political problems besetting current democratic experiences in Africa.