COMPLETE SCHOOL PROJECT TOPICS & MATERIALS :
CHAPTERS: Chapter 1-5
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1.1 Background of the Study
This study argues democracy is correlated to development either exogenously or endogenously although this view is mainly Eurocentric its application in this context might be instrumental to diffusing the problem of under development in the African continent, despite the rise in number of electoral democracies around the continent it continues to be marred by alarming rate of underdevelopment. Though elections can be argued to be a defining attribute of democracy but may not necessarily bring about economic development and social transformation, rather the content of democracy and the way it is constituted not just elections may usher in such developments and transformations in any democratic dispensation. The assertion that development is correlated to democracy was derived from the tenants of modernization theory, which in simple terms argues development ushers in and ensures survival of democracy, while other contributors to this theory claim vice versa. The hypothesis put forward by modernization theorists can be summed up in simple terms as a theory that seeks to establish a positive correlation between economic development and democracy and its subsequent survival, democratization. Lipset observation that democracy is related to economic development was first put forward in the 1950’s and can be argued to have generated a wide range of research in comparative politics. Przeworski et al (1997:156). The deteriorating social welfare, high unemployment rates, illiteracy, dilapidated states of public institutions, poor standard of living, legitimacy crisis, uneven distribution of wealth, inability of the state to legitimize the monopoly of use of force and most of all the laxity or failure in provision of public goods and services, in spite of the vote for democracy which is thought to be an inclusive system of governance, has further compounded the woes of a promising continent endowed with vast human and natural resources. This in turn like chain reaction is gradually undermining the confidence of the populace in democracy as a citizen oriented system of governance. In lieu, what is the correlation between democracy and development in the African context? Why have states in Africa despite claiming to be democratic failed in their attempts, if any to alleviate social economic status of the citizenry? And what is or are the missing link(s) between democracy and development in Africa?
Democracy like most concepts in social science have overtime suffered from either over or under conceptualization, and the lack of global consensus on what democracy is and not continues to pose a great obstacle to defining democracy. As what is acceptable as democracy in country A might not necessarily accepted as democracy in country B. As a result any little element of democratic values as periodic elections, which may not necessarily be competitive free and fair have become a base for states in the developing world to pitch their tents under the umbrella of democracy. Ezeanyika (2011:4) asserts, confusion in meaning of democracy is primarily due to propagandistic usages and value of the term as a weapon for competing and even warring social systems . In concurring Lipset (1959:23) sums up the perception of democracy as “in case of word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. The defenders of any kind of regime claim it is a democracy” . Hence, this study seeks to contribute to already existing enormous scholarly works on democracy and development in Africa; it seeks to bridge the gap in literature by analyzing already existing literature and shed light on a the Nigerian and Zimbabwean models of democracy in an attempt to further substantiate the claim of this paper, which argues the absence of practical and citizen oriented democracy as the bane of under development across the continent. For methodological purposes, the study would be a descriptive one. As Grerring in his second edition of Social Science Methodology: A Unified Framework (141-144) asserts descriptive claims can be classified as indicators, synthesis, typologies or associations, along with other varying subtypes. Indicators as one-dimensional, attributes, factors, measures, parameters, scales, variable, synthesis encompasses single multi-dimensional category in which diverse attributes revolve around a central theme while association in simple terms seeks to test or establish correlation . Hence, this study revolves around democracy which is multidimensional and varies across time and space and also seeks to establish a correlation between democracy and development under the tenants of modernization theory. The adoption of this method should best serve the purpose of the research, which is to test the theory of modernization. It also accords the researcher the luxury of exploring already existing literature with an eye out for indicators, associations of a multi-dimensional phenomenon, in this context democracy and development in Africa.
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