The History of an Ideal
DOI link for The History of an Ideal
The History of an Ideal book
This chapter describes the historical background to contemporary conflicts over democracy in East Africa. It focuses on the origins of democratic principles in the region, so closely related to the process of establishing modern nation states in the wake of colonialism. Personal relationships and the principle of reciprocity were more important than the protection of pluralism, or abstract notions of democracy, in which individual rights and responsibilities are well defined. Prior to 1945, Kenya experienced the most profound disputes in East Africa over the nature of democracy. The language of democracy in Kenya was employed to assert the interests of tiny immigrant communities rather than to demand equal representation for all subjects of the British crown. Bugandan separatism became a major force in Ugandan politics and was inspired by memories of pre-colonial state formation, and by the colonial preservation and codification of their pre-colonial political institutions.