Paper $34.95 ISBN: 9781783602483 Published April 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783602490 Published April 2017 For sale in North and South America only

Warlord Democrats in Africa

Ex-Military Leaders and Electoral Politics

Edited by Anders Themnér

Warlord Democrats in Africa

Edited by Anders Themnér

Distributed for Zed Books

288 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $34.95 ISBN: 9781783602483 Published April 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783602490 Published April 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Democratization after war has been identified as a crucial mechanism to build peace in war-ridden societies, by resolving conflict through ballots rather than bullets. But, an often ignored by-product of the reliance on elections is that military leaders often become an integral part of the new democratic system, using resources and networks generated by the previous war to dominate the emerging political landscape.
Warlord Democrats in Africa brings together a range of contributors to answer a crucial and overlooked question: What is the effect of the inclusion of ex-military leaders into electoral politics on post-war security? The essays in this volume examine whether it is possible for warlord democrats to make a positive contribution by shepherding their wartime constituencies to support the building of peace and democracy, or whether they are more likely to use their electoral platforms to sponsor political violence and keep war-affected communities mobilized through aggressive discourses. Containing a wealth of fresh empirical detail and theoretical insight, and focusing on some of Africa's most high-profile political figures, from Paul Kagame to Rick Mahar and Afonso Dhlakama, Warlord Democrats in Africa offers a crucial analysis of democratization after conflict.
Review Quotes
Mats Utas, author of African Conflicts and Informal Power
“A much needed volume taking us beyond the simple solutions so forcefully propagated by the international community in the aftermath of civil wars. Themnér and his contributors take us deep into the political complexities of the African continent.”
Andreas Mehler, University of Freiburg
“This collection of excellent articles provides evidence for the wide scope of opportunities and constraints facing former warlords in peacetime. The book implores us to avoid the simplistic labelling of these ambitious political entrepreneurs as men of either war or peace.”
Danny Hoffman, University of Washington

“A valuable corrective to broad-brush takes on post-conflict governance on the continent. Through detailed case studies it accomplishes that most rare feat: thinking African politics on its own terms.”

Terrence Lyons, George Mason University

“This wonderful volume brings together a superb team of specialists to investigate the contradictory concept of ‘warlord democrats.’ This book will be of great value to those seeking to understand the complex transformations that characterize ending violence and building post-war political orders."

William Reno, Northwestern University

“A major work. This book tells us exactly how and why wartime leaders play significant roles in post-war politics. Extremely insightful and clear, it is likely to spur a new research programme in the study of post-conflict politics and state-building. It should be widely read.”

Mats Berdal, King’s College London

“An excellent collection of essays. The political economy analysis it offers should be of particular interest to those—quite especially the UN and those charged with running its peace operations—trying to build peace and secure durable political settlements to long-running conflicts.”

Foreign Affairs
“Regular multiparty elections have become the norm in (African) countries, leaving former guerrilla leaders, military officers, and other assorted ‘big men’ with little choice but to put away their guns and begin second careers as politicians, asking citizens for votes. This collection of essays assesses how this phenomenon has shaped African democracy.”
“A must read for any scholar, researcher, or individual interested in African politics and how ‘Big Men’ and patronage contribute to the illusion of democracy seen in most patrimonial African states.”
Modern Times Review
“Contains fascinating analyses of former warlords who have often transformed their insurgencies into political parties.”
Paul Chiudza Banda | African Studies Quarterly
“I would recommend this book to scholars and general readers interested in studying the dynamics of the state, institutions, and political leadership in post-Cold War Africa. Those with interest in evaluating Africa’s so-called “Second Wave of Democratization” will also find this book captivating.”
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