By David Harris
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Additional info for Civil War and democracy in West Africa : conflict resolution, elections and justice in Sierra Leone and Liberia
This part of the chapter considers the possibilities of democracy in the face of these areas of concern and, of particular interest to this book, that of winnertake-all elections and representation. Recent African transitions to democracy are situated within a similar global trend, which has particularly affected states in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. e. democratisation, marketisation, state formation and nation-building. 61 In Africa, almost all states face all these transitional difficulties.
Given the variety of outcomes and the array of international forms of intervention, how do we explain these various, albeit not conclusive, outcomes? All through this enquiry and certainly before explanations can be arrived at, it must be kept in mind that a successful solution to a conflict is not only an elusive desire but also an elusive concept to define. On the one hand, there are clearly, in each case, deep and difficult political, societal and international problems to which solutions have to be found.
It is plausible that recent and current African civil wars appear to be on the whole more economically motivated than in the past, because the African state and its military arm have become significantly weaker. 38 It is, though, the assumption that the wars usually start primarily from the motives of greed that is questionable. indd 13 7/25/2011 5:27:57 PM 14 CIVIL WAR AND DEMOCR ACY IN WEST A FRICA the loot after a year or so, instead of risking all in a push to the capital, notwithstanding the appropriative actions of the leaders of several rebel groups once ensconced in government.