Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 02/2014

Africa and the Arab Spring: A New Era of Democratic Expectations

November 2011

Africa Center for Strategic Studies


Military coups in Mali and Guinea-Bissau and the persistence of “big-man” politics have renewed questions over the viability of democratic governance models in Africa. These developments have overshadowed a deepening institutionalization of democratic processes in Africa over the past decade. The Arab Spring, likewise, sparked a broader debate about the legitimate claims on authority across the continent. These crosscurrents reflect an ongoing struggle for governance norms in Africa that will require active engagement from African reformers and international partners to sustain Africa’s democratic trajectory. - See more at: