book cover of Authoritarian Africa

Authoritarian Africa has been written to provide an accessible, comprehensive, and engaging introduction to the varieties and evolution of authoritarian rule across the African continent, from the colonial era to the present day. It is clearly written and follows a chronological structure, making the book an ideal textbook or supplement.

Cheeseman and Fisher observe that authoritarian rule was the dominant form of government in sub-Saharan Africa for more than seventy years. Three-quarters of African states have experienced some form of one-party or military rule since 1945.

Authoritarian Africa explores the history and legacy of authoritarianism in Africa - from the colonial era until the onset of democracy in the early 1990s. It introduces students to the variety of authoritarian regimes that have existed on the continent, including one-party states, military rule, and personal dictatorships.

The authors analyse authoritarian rule in the context of the continent's social, political, intellectual, and economic history.

Nic Cheeseman appeared on the BBC World Service to discuss the key messages of the book and to debate whether democracy or authoritarianism works better for the continent. Listen to the recording