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AN INVESTIGATION INTO POLITICAL STABILITY AND PROSPECTS FOR DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION IN CAMEROON.

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AN INVESTIGATION INTO POLITICAL STABILITY AND PROSPECTS FOR DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION IN CAMEROON.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Cameroon, located in the region of Central Africa, is a country characterised by a rich tapestry of cultural, linguistic, and ethnic diversity. Cameroon has had notable political changes subsequent to its attainment of independence from France in 1960 and the United Kingdom in 1961. Nevertheless, the pursuit of establishing a stable democratic system has encountered several obstacles, including as political volatility, ethnic conflicts, and governance complexities (Burnell, Randall, & Rakner, 2017). 

The pursuit of democratic consolidation emerges as a prominent subject within the political scene of Cameroon. The nation has undergone intermittent electoral processes and shifts in political authority; yet, concerns remain over the extent and durability of its democratic establishments (Welzel, Ronald & Inglehart, 2019). According to Bryman (2016), the notion of democratic consolidation involves the creation of strong democratic norms, practices, and institutions that persist over a period of time, so guaranteeing the stability and durability of democratic government.

The chances for democratic consolidation in Cameroon are significantly influenced by the presence of political stability. The consolidation of democratic processes is significantly hindered by persistent political instability, which is marked by disputed elections, socio-economic complaints, and conflicts (Frantz, 2018a). Moreover, obstacles like as corruption, inadequate adherence to legal principles, and violations of human rights erode public confidence in democratic establishments, hindering endeavours to strengthen democratic administration. 

To comprehend the intricacies of political stability and its consequences for the establishment of democracy in Cameroon, a comprehensive examination is necessary. The political landscape of a nation is shaped by several factors, including historical legacies, socio-economic inequality, ethnic variety, and foreign influences (Frantz, 2018b). Furthermore, a comprehensive analysis of the involvement of significant players, such as political parties, civil society organisations, and foreign stakeholders, offers valuable perspectives on the potential for the establishment and strengthening of democratic systems.  The political trajectory of Cameroon has significant consequences for regional stability and growth due to its strategic position within the Central African area. To ensure the country's growth and promote peace, security, and democratic governance in the area, it is crucial to tackle the obstacles to political stability and enhance the chances of democratic consolidation in Cameroon (Giles, Kojo and Abdul-Gafaru, 2018). In light of the aforementioned context, the primary objective of this study is to examine the state of political stability and the potential for democratic consolidation in Cameroon. This study aims to enhance comprehension of the factors influencing Cameroon's political landscape and provide insights into strategies for improving political stability and promoting democratic consolidation in the country by examining historical trends, current dynamics, and future trajectories (Mohan, Kojo, & Abdul-Gafaru, 2018). This study makes a valuable contribution to academic discussions on democratisation, governance, and conflict resolution in Africa by using empirical analysis and multidisciplinary approaches. Therefore, the researcher sought to assess urbanization and its effects on political dynamics in Cameroon.

Statement of the problem

Cameroon, after making early progress towards democratisation, nonetheless has difficulties in maintaining political stability and strengthening democratic procedures (Wanga and Muriaas, 2019). The political environment of the nation is characterised by a multifaceted interaction of several elements, including as ethnic conflicts, socio-economic inequalities, challenges in governance, and historical inheritances (Rakner, 2017b). The objective of this research is to examine the fundamental factors that impact political stability and evaluate the potential for democratic consolidation in Cameroon. The primary inquiries that necessitate attention encompass the degree to which historical, institutional, and socio-economic elements contribute to political instability, the influence of ethnic diversity on political dynamics, and the efficacy of existing governance frameworks in advancing democratic principles (Ringen, 2016). Through an examination of these matters, the study aims to provide valuable perspectives that may guide policy enhancements and help to the progress of democratic government in Cameroon.

Objective of the study

The broad objectives of the study is to investigate  the political stability and prospects for democratic consolidation in Cameroon. The specific objectives is as follows

To assess the level of political stability in Cameroon.

To analyze the factors influencing the democratic consolidation in Cameroon.

To examine the role of institutions and governance mechanisms in shaping political stability.

Find out the prospect for democratic consolidation and political stability in Cameroon.

Research questions

The following questions have been prepared to further guide the study

What is  the level of political stability in Cameroon?

What are the factors influencing the democratic consolidation in Cameroon?

What is the role of institutions and governance mechanisms in shaping political stability?

What are the prospect for democratic consolidation and political stability in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the study

The findings of the stiudy will be significant to the following

Policymakers: The findings of the study can inform policy formulation and decision-making at both national and international levels. Policymakers within Cameroon can use the insights to design and implement reforms aimed at strengthening democracy and fostering political stability. Similarly, international actors, such as donor agencies and diplomatic missions, can tailor their assistance and engagement strategies to support Cameroon's democratic development effectively.

Academic Contribution: The study adds to the body of academic literature on democratization, political stability, and African politics. It provides empirical evidence and theoretical insights that can enrich scholarly debates and inform future research on similar topics. Moreover, by focusing on Cameroon, the study offers a nuanced understanding of the country's unique political context and its implications for broader democratic theory and practice.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on investigating the political stability and prospects for democratic consolidation in Cameroon. Empirically, the study will  assess the level of political stability in Cameroon, analyze the factors influencing the democratic consolidation in Cameroon, examine the role of institutions and governance mechanisms in shaping political stability and propose strategies for enhancing democratic consolidation and political stability in Cameroon.

1.7 Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Definition of terms

Urbanization: The process of population concentration in urban areas as a result of rural-to-urban migration, natural population growth, and other socioeconomic factors, leading to the expansion and development of cities and towns.

Political Dynamics: The multifaceted interactions, relationships, and processes within the political sphere of a society, including but not limited to power structures, political institutions, ideologies, public policies, political participation, and decision-making mechanisms.


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