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This collection of essays assesses the efforts of African governments to constitutionalise decentralisation, be it in the form of federalism, local government or traditional authorities. Since the end of the Cold War jurisdictions across Africa have witnessed an ostensible return to multi-party democracy within the paradigm of constitutionalism and the rule of law. Linked to the democratisation process, many countries took steps to decentralize power by departing from the heavily centralized systems inherited from colonial regimes. The centralization of power, typically characterized by the personalization and concentration of power in the hands of leaders and privileged elites in capital cities, mostly resulted in repressive regimes and fragile states. As decentralisation is a response to these challenges, this volume analyses the dynamic relationship between the efforts to implement decentralization and presence or absence of constitutionalism. This volume examines a variety of forms and degrees of decentralization found across Africa. It advances a new understanding of trends and patterns and facilitates the exchange of ideas among African governments and scholars about the critical role that decentralisation may play in democratization of and constitutionalism in Africa. This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence. It is free to read on the Oxford Academic platform and offered as a free PDF download from OUP and selected open access locations.
About the Author
Charles M. Fombad, Professor of Law, University of Pretoria, Nico Steytler, South African Research Chair in Multi-level Government, Law and Policy, University of the Western Cape Charles M. Fombad is Professor of Law and leads the African Constitutional Law Unit at the Institute for International and Comparative Law at the University of Pretoria. He has taught at the University of Botswana, the University of Yaounde II, and was visiting Professor at the Universities of Dschang and Buea in Cameroon. From 2003 to 2007 he was also a Professor Extraordinarius of the Department of Jurisprudence at the University of South Africa. He is the author of several books and a member of the editorial board of a number of international journals. He is currently a vice-president of the International Association of Constitutional Law. He is also a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa and a fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. His research interests include comparative African constitutional law, media law, and the African Union and legal history, especially legal harmonization. Nico Steytler holds the South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government, Law and Development at the Dullah Omar Institute of Constitutional Law, Governance and Human Rights, at the University of the Western Cape