Political Instability in Africa between 1960 and 2000

  • Vladimír Kváča


The article aims to review the political developments in African states throughout their recent post-colonial past. Uprooting political violence and anchoring a stable structure based on a society-wide consensus being just two of the several prerequisites for solving so many other problems which trouble Africa today, this article aims to diagnose at least some root causes and consequences of the generally unsatisfactory political situation on the continent. Having identified a set of political instability symptoms (coups d'état, civil wars, failed putches etc.) the author first ranks African states according to their political instability rate. On the basis of statistical correlation analysis, the author then investigates the relation between political instability in Africa and a number of quantifiable geographical, demographical, military and economic variables. The author has identified some dispositions increasing - though with only small statistical significance - the probability of instability in African states. In order of importance, these include: large territory, high illiteracy rate, low urbanisation, high number of ethnic groups living within the territory, and large population. Also, there is a close link between political instability and governmental military spending. It probably has a negative impact on a number of key economic indicators, be it GDP growth, GDP per capita levels, domestic savings, or price level developments. In the final part of his article, the author makes a brief summary of political developments in African countries in the 21st century.

Author Biography

Vladimír Kváča



Research Articles