Africa Notes: Kenya: 25 Years After Uhuru - August 1988
August 5, 1988
As I. William Zartman observed in a recent issue of CSIS Africa Notes, "More African states have a stable government with some democratic features than is usually recognized, and even more are trying to move along a path toward greater participation and accountability, two main features of democracy . . . . Absolute correlations between democracy and any other feature are hard to find, despite many attempts by analysts to do so. It is clear that democracy depends on an informed and involved public and that it thrives on social pluralism, although it may also become the victim when pluralistic conflict replaces pluralistic competition. Conflict is more likely to arise when the supply of economic rewards and incentives is fixed or shrinking and social pluralism and population numbers are growing. Thus, economic growth and development may not assure democracy, but democratic competition and political stability have a better chance in the presence of economic growth." ("Why Africa Matters," no. 86, June 30, 1988). Kenya's political evolution in the quarter century since independence provides a relevant case study of these generalizations.