Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2006


Democratic success


Democracy as an ideal is an integral part of the Western understanding of the world. The spread and growth of democratic governments is seen as a victory of Western values. Democracy, however, has not been an easy transition for many developing countries. The troubles facing emergent democracies are numerous and multifaceted. For the continent of Africa, the last four decades have been a testament to the difficulty of building a stable democracy in former European colonies. With fifty-three countries dividing Africa, only a handful can claim the status of being a consolidated democracy. Senegal is an example of a former French colony that has enjoyed relative success in comparison to its fellow former colonies. The triumph of democracy, a stable government and a relatively secure economy are anomalies on the African continent, but seem to have been fostered by the Senegalese government. The process of democratization in Senegal is equally unique in its lack of bloodshed, violence or revolution. Why has Senegal been successful in establishing a stable democracy? Senegal’s history of political liberalization and democratization can be understood by examining its historical experiences as a French colony, the processes of democratic transition, and its unique cultural experience.


Political Science

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Democracy--Senegal; Democracy--Africa

Geographic Coverage

Senegal--Politics and government


student projects; term papers




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