Globalization and democracy with reference to eastern and southern Africa
Globalization has caused anxiety and uncertainty among the less developed countries; the reason being that it is still unclear as what this new political economy portends for these countries. Also at the heart of this unease is what seems to be globalization's profound political and social consequences for the Third World countries, especially those in poverty-stricken Africa. Would they be able to cushion themselves against globalization's painful effects? One of the key demands of this new political economy is that there should be no political interference in economic activity and investment decisions. Thus globalization presents the less developed countries with what seems to be an intractable conundrum. While touting democracy as a condition for economic success, the neo-liberal ideology which underpins globalization removes the economy from the political agenda through its advocacy of laissez-faire economic policies that preclude government involvement in investment decisions, hence shielding private capital and the bourgeoisie from social and political scrutiny. With reference to eastern and southern Africa, this paper examines the broad political implications of globalization and reflects on the possible strategies that might cushion the regional states against its vicissitudes.
Journal of Social Development in Africa Vol 16 No 1 2001, pp. 121-138