Date of Award
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Karen A. Feste, Ph.D.
Lewis K. Griffith, Ph.D.
Civil war, Delegitimization, Social contract, Sociopolitical, State failure, Tribe and ethnic groups
This thesis examines the phenomenon of civil war and state failure in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) from a social contract perspective. Its main hypothesis is that authoritarianism will lead to state failure in the context of SSA. In this regard, SSA states are political communities that have not done enough to promote and develop a social contract that is compatible with the region's sociopolitical and structural peculiarities. Since civil war and state failure have hampered different dimensions of human progress in SSA, analyzing the main patterns of conflict will inevitably lead to an underlying incompatibility between existing governing political structures and the region's social structures. In this case, one major characteristic pattern of civil war and state failure in SSA is that they are caused by delegitimization of government authority by ethnic groups whose allegiance to internal traditional authority is still stronger than to centralized government. Hence, a social contract that will allow ethnic groups to legitimize state authority is what SSA lacks and needs.
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Mayen, David D., "Sub-Saharan Africa: Searching for a Social Contract" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 410.
Received from ProQuest
David D. Mayen