This paper analyses the modernisation hypothesis in the sub-Saharan African region. Using a sample of 48 countries from 1960 to 2010 and dynamic panel data analysis, we find a significant and negative relationship between income and democracy, an indication that the hypothesis may not hold in the region. We also investigate further by distinguishing between exogenous and endogenous democracy. The former explains whether external factors, such as the end of the Cold War, as well as regional influence, play a role in the process of democratisation in sub-Saharan Africa. Results indicate that the end of the Cold War has a significant influence on the democratisation process probably because of the pro-democracy policies advocated by international organisations, while regional organisations play no significant role in the region. We also obtain significant results for democracy when we proxy for international organisations with an IMF programme variable.
Is Democracy Eluding Sub-Saharan Africa?