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HSRC Press :: Africa :: Legacies of Power

Legacies of Power
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Legacies of Power

Leadership change and former presidents in African politics

Roger Southall , Henning Melber (eds)

Format210mm x 148mm
ISBN 100-7969-2102-2
ISBN 13978-07969-2120-8
Publish Year2006
DescriptionRelated ProductsEmail To A FriendProduct RatingCustomer Reviews

Legacies of Power :: Leadership change and former presidents in African politicsFree DownloadLegacies of Power :: Leadership change and former presidents in African politics

It was a widely held dominant perception until the early 1990's that African rulers do not vacate their office alive. But even in the brutal reality of African politics, transition takes place and different former presidents have dealt with how to maintain power and priviledge very deffrently. With case studies examining the post-presidential years of the iconic Mandela in South Africa, Daniel arap Moi in Kenya, Nyerere in Tanzania, Rawlings in Ghana, Charles Taylor in Liberia, as well as the experience of Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Malawi, and Nigeria, this volume examine the dilemmas which demnds for presidential transitions impose upon incumbent rulers and analyses the relationships which are evolving between new regimes and their predecessors. The contributors discuss the hybridal political systems that exist in post-independance Africa; the role allotted to or pursued by former African presidents; transitional politics and justice, and political stability. The book stimulates careful further observation and analyses concerning progress in this contested arena of institutionalised political power in Africa.

Co-Published with Nordic Africa Insitute
List of Tables
Abbreviations and Acronyms

Introduction: About life after presidency - Roger Southall and Henning Melber
1 Former presidents in Africa - Roger Southall, Neo Simutanyi and John Daniel
2 Soldiering on: the post-presidential years of Nelson Mandela 1999 - 2005 - John Daniel
3 Unpacking the model: Presidential succession in Botswana - Kenneth Good and Ian Taylor
4 The contested role of former presidents in Zambia - Neo Simutanyi
5 'Presidential indispensability' in Namibia: Moving out of office but staying in power - Henning Melber
6 "When I am a century old': Why Robert Mugabe won't go - David Moore
7 Toxic mushrooms: The presidential third term debate in Malawi - Sean Morrow
8 Politics and presidential term limits in Uganda - Roger Tangri
9 Immunity or accountability? Daniel Toroitich arap Moi: Kenya's first retire president - Tom Wolf
10 Troubled visionary: Nyerere as a former president - Roger Southall
11 Rawlings' former presidency: A threat to democracy in Ghana? - Kwame Boafo-Arthur
12 An army of ex presidents: Transitions, the military and democratic conslidation in Nigeria - Sola Akinrinade
13 Despot Desposed: Charles Taylor and the challenge of state reconstruction in Liberia - Daniel Hoffman

About the Author/s

Professor Roger Southall is a Distinguished Research Fellow of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and was formerly Professor of Political Studies, Rhodes University and has also and researched in academic institutions and think-tanks in Lesotho, Uganda, the UK and Canada.

Dr Henning Melber headed the Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit (NEPRU) in Windhoek and was a member of the President’s Economic Advisory Council from 1992 to 2000. Previously the Research Director at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden, he is currently the Executive Director of the Dag Hammarskjold foundation.


Extract of review by John W. Harbeson (City University of New York) in Africa Today Vol. 53 No. 3 / Spring 2007 pp. 122-3:

"Atypically for an edited volume, the chapters are uniformly insightful and thorough in marshalling existing evidence to bear on the problem of postpresidencies in African countries, many of them newly democratic and still weak states."

Extract from review by Bruce Baker (Coventry University, UK) in Democratization Vol. 13 Issue 5 (December 2006):

"If you want proof that many African presidents do not understand or want to understand the nature of democracy, here it is... this is a book full of important and practical issues for democracy in Africa and in particular for regime change, presidential succession, and the role of ex-presidents."

Extract from review by Moudjib Djinadou (Visiting UN Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand) in Poitikon Vol. 33 Issue 2 (November 2006):

"This essay is not just about presidential succession(s) in Africa, but also offers valuable insights on the circustances and the philosophy that leads to accessions and quitting of power by some of those whose names have been inextricably linked to unlimited power the 'African way' over the last 50 years. The 12 chapters by various authors straddle the iconic leadership of South African President Nelson Mandela, to the controversial presidency of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe."

Extract from review by Nicolas van de Walle in Foreign Affairs May/Jun 2006, Vol. 85, Issue 3:

"One of the consequences of democratization in Africa is the emergence of former heads of state--those who have been defeated at the polls or have fallen victim to term limits. Between 1990 and 2004, 15 African presidents lost an election, and 17 retired voluntarily. This interesting volume asks what has happened to these ex-presidents and what has been their impact on national politics."

Extract from review by Jan Kees van Donge (Institute of Social Studies) in Development and Change Vol. 38 Issue 4 pp.784-6:

"This book provides rich pickings for those interested in African politics, and it also offers important inputs to theorizing about political development and comparative politics. The book can be seen as an example of contemporary history writing, and such writing is important to understand African politics."

Extract from review by John Cartwright (University of Western Ontario) in the Canadian Journal of African Studies 41:2 (2007) pp.370-3:

“In this cautionary balancing of an ideal with the claims of an imperfect world, the authors provide food for thought for academics as well as for all political leaders contemplating the possible end of their time in office. This book deserves the attention of anyone concerned with the question of how African countries can best develop democratic control over their rulers.”



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