The post-colonial era paved the way for democracy to flourish in former colony states. However, the same notion of democracy left the former colonies ravaged with internal conflict, violence, sub-state wars, and even genocide. This encompasses the immense fragility of the democratic process in which the idea of freedom succumbs the post-colonial countries to engage in internal conflicts. The discussion highlights how post-colonial democracies becomes a failed state. On the other hand, strategies for prevention will be provided offering a new perspective towards democracy. Lastly, the discussion will determine whether the problem lies with the global system that the post-colonial nations find themselves in or whether the problem is within democracy itself.
Internal conflicts among the post-colonial states can be observed in the Sub-Saharan region. After the European colonizers granted independence to countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Zaire, Congo, and Tanzania, the democratic regime took over as an ideal political ideology, which apparently followed by episodes of conflict. One example is Congo in which after achieving democracy, the country fell into a crisis situation with violence happening in several areas (BBC). In terms of prevention, the government of Congo has devised several programs in order to stimulate peace and order. Peace Building experts are engaged in collaboration efforts with the local and international organizations to create early warning projections to detect emerging conflicts and mitigate before the problem escalates. However, the problem is that the programs lack information-sharing channels that will increase the effectiveness of the mitigation efforts (Burnley). In this regard, it is recommended that the government improve its information sharing system in order to elevate the quality of information sharing among the mitigation programs. This will allow a more effective joint evaluation of crisis situations, which can potentially lead to a more effective conflict response strategies, and ultimately to free the country from being a failed state.
Where the Problem Lies
The perceived problem in post-colonial democracies can be attributed to global system in which the democratic nations find themselves. In contrast to arguments speculating that democracy presents an undefined border between freedom and control in which internal conflict emerges, it is the global system that perpetuates indifference in both political and social perspectives. The contrasting elements of tradition embedded in the philosophical disposition of post-colonial citizens because of long years of being under a colonial system, and the dynamic principles of modernity introduced by globalization presents a broad political perspective that challenges democratic ideology (Ciaffa). For one, colonialism had a disrupting effect on a country’s indigenous traditions and after centuries and generations of under the influence of its colonial master, the adopted values, philosophies, and ideologies becomes the nations identity. The same notion of national identity constitutes a self-perspective attributed to slavery and being oppressed. On the other hand, the sudden transition to a democratic nation shifts the collective ideologies into unfamiliar political and social paradigms. Shifting into an unfamiliar democratic regime awaken the people’s longing for freedom. As a result, the unfamiliarity to the idea of democratic freedom creates varying interpretation of liberty, which creates contradiction and later escalates into conflict.
Democracy is often associated to the perspectives of liberty. However, for a democratic nation that just received independence from colonialism, the idea of freedom varies among citizens and the assertion of new varying ideologies as a result of global influence creates internal tension. Therefore, it can be argued that democracy in post-colonial countries is often misunderstood partly because the global system overwhelms the newly independent nation in terms of adapting to global political and social environment.
BBC,. "Q&A: DR Congo Conflict - BBC News". BBC News. N.p., 2012. Web. 7 May 2016.
Burnley, Clementine. "Natural Resources Conflict In The Democratic Republic Of The Congo: A Question Of Governance?". Sustainable Development Law & Policy 12.1 (2011): 7-11. Web. 7 May 2016.
Ciaffa, Jay. "Tradition And Modernity In Postcolonial African Philosophy". Humanitas 21.2 (2008): 121-145. Web. 7 May 2016.