Discussion Group May 7, 2024: Military Coups in Africa – A Question Concerning Democracy

The WACMB World Affairs Discussion Group will resume our monthly meetings on Tuesday, May 7th at 4:00 PM via Zoom (note the earlier start time).
The discussion topic is Understanding Military Coups in Africa: A Question Concerning Democracy following on the April 26th WACMB luncheon presentation by Dr. Jeremias Zunguze, Associate Professor of Ethnic & Gender Studies at CSUMB.
Since the beginning of national independence in the 1950s the African continent has witnessed more than two hundred military coups, dictators and democratically-elected leaders overthrown, and democracy brought to a halt. Since 2020 alone there have been 16 attempted or successful coups in West and Central Africa. While each has been unique, some common trends have driven these coups.
Professor Zunguze discussed the underlying historical and cultural factors that have combined to shape African democracy, where various forms of power and governance have continued to compete for sovereignty and monopoly, often resulting in seasonal-like military coups, civil wars, and proxy wars.
Some questions to guide our discussion: Why are there so many military coups in Africa? Why does the “rule by the people” not seem to work as we know it? Are the coups a destruction of democracy and/or are they forces to restore the rule of the people?

If you are interested and have never attended this Discussion Group, just send a request to discussiongroup@wacmb.org to receive log-in information and related study materials.

Come join the conversation!