Power, legitimacy and 'democratisation' in Africa
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This article explores the cultural basis of political legitimacy in sub-Saharan Africa. It proceeds by concentrating on the language, imagery, and metaphors that Africans use to convey perceptions about politics and political life. After examining the nature of power and reflecting on the importance of political language, it presents four premises of a model called the moral matrix of legitimate governance, noting their relation to political legitimacy. In conclusion it relates the analysis of power and legitimacy to the political turmoil current throughout much of Africa, focusing specifically on the question of 'democratisation'.