Legitimate governance and statehood in Africa: beyond the failed state and colonial determination
University of British Columbia
Master of Laws - LLM
This thesis looks at the problem of governance and statehood in Africa from an international law perspective. Adopting a comparative analytical research method, the thesis investigated the idea of statehood in traditional Africa and Europe, and highlighted conceptual differences. It traced the origin and nature of the post colonial African state to an oppressive and totalitarian colonial state; and the coalescence of international law with European civilization and reality. The argument is made that the international law framework on statehood and international solutions of intervention and democratization, are inadequate for dealing with the problems of statehood in Africa and its consequences such as state collapse. The thesis proposes the legitimization of the African post colonial state through a combination of a process of self determination and democratization. The pattern of self determination proposed seeks to give normative expression to an African state's reality by using the equilibrium of the peoples incorporation and disengagement from the state as an index for determining the role and relevance of the state. It is proposed that this index, in determining the ambits of the right to self determination of the constituent political units in a state, should entitle an African nation to a minimum of the right to self governance in a confederate system. In complimenting the foregoing legitimization process, the thesis proposes a democratic framework that is constructed on cultural foundations of endogenous democracy and development.
Legitimacy of governments - Africa; Self-determination, National - Africa; Democracy - Africa; Africa - Politics and government - 1960-
Law, Peter A. Allard School of