Entangled in Electoralism and Narcissistic Leadership Disorder?: Furthering Democracy Beyond Electoral Procedures in Africa

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Mike Omilusi Mike Omilusi


Democratic elections are widely recognized as a foundation of legitimate government. Despite significant steps towards democratisation in the last two decades, problems of consolidation are evident in Africa. In several countries, semi-authoritarian regimes persist while leadership failure becomes a common denominator across the governance spectrum. Yet, leadership is a necessary factor in every sphere of life, especially at the political level where decisions and actions affect the entire members of a nation. Narcissistic Leadership Disorder as used in this essay is a coined version of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in psychology which is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. For some African political leaders(or narcissist-politicians), given their grandiose sense of self, they are inclined to believe they can get away with almost everything including periodic but manipulated elections and constitution, ironically, in the name of democracy. The thrust of this essay is that consolidating democracy in terms of building democratic institutions and the capacity of the narcissist-politicians to manage the political and economic processes of society for development remains a major challenge for many African countries.


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