Decentralization and political opposition in contemporary Africa: evidence from Sudan and Ethiopia
Opposition, tolerance and dissent are important facets of democracy, yet most societies face real challenges in realizing such principles. While democratization is a multifaceted process, the diffusion of democratic values and popular legitimation of the political system are crucial components. This chapter examines these aspects in particular, where the diffusion of certain democratic values focuses on the tolerance of dissent among the ex-combatants and concerning the legitimation of the political system their view on the role of the opposition. It focuses on groups to evaluate the extent to which ex-combatants in Liberia adhere to ideals of pluralism. This involves their views on dissent or freedom of speech, as well as their view on the role of opposition in Liberia. The chapter explores how they deal with dissent and criticism at an individual level as well as the level of the state. The results highlight the protraction of democratization and the difficulties in leaving a violent past behind.