The review introduces three volumes that present reflections of African scholars on the role of democracy and democratic movements in creating peaceful development in Africa. Of special interest is the view of several authors on why democracy has relatively limited appeal in African populations: because there is a primary need for social programmes, and because the voter does not think in terms of individual utility but of group identity and social needs. In particular, the volume on peasant organisations and democratisation processes indicats that peasants do not feel involved but conceive of democracy as an issue of central power. They see the state as a threat, as an agent of exploitation. Politics, for them, is confined to the towns, not designed for them to have influence.
Reviewed books: A.G.Ndema (ed.): The Quest for Peace in Africa. Transfor-mations, Democracy and Public Policy. Addis Ababa: International Books with OSSREA., 2004, 416pp. - Y.Lumumba-Kasongo (ed.): Liberal Democracy and its Critics in Africa, Dakar, London, Pretoria: CODESRIA with ZED Books and USAP., 2005, 213pp. - M.B.Romdhane and S. Moyo (eds): Peasant Organisations and the Democratisation Process in Africa, Dakar: CODESRIA, 2002, 365 pp.
Manipulating political decentralisation: Africa's Inclusive Autocrats
Lovise Aalen and Ragnhild L. Muriaas
Counter-mobilization against child marriage reform in Africa
Ragnhild Louise Muriaas, Liv Tønnessen, Vibeke Wang
Power calculations and political decentralisation in African post-conflict states
Lovise Aalen, Ragnhild Muriaas
International Political Science Review