Democracy and Democratization in Africa

Unlike other studies of democracy and democratization in Africa that start the investigation with postcolonial developments, this book is a comprehensive study that investigates political developments in African colonial and postcolonial states. The research finds that centralized and decentralized African states designed and implemented democratic institutions hundreds of years before they were ultimately defeated by European powers. This argument turns upside down the conventional view that the birth place of democracy is the ancient city-state of Athens; it shows that democracy emerged in Africa and later spread in Greece. Moreover, the book proposes an original theory of democratization that discusses the conditions of the emergence of democracy in the context of precolonial Africa.

Analyzing politics in contemporary African states, the study draws a sharp dichotomic line between democracy and dictatorship and proposes a classification and ranking of these two types of political regimes in Africa. Looking ahead, this work also discusses and proposes answers to some of the most important issues regarding the building of democratic regimes in contemporary African states.

The methodological strategy adopted by this project is that of triangulation: comparative historical analysis, theoretical and empirical analyses contribute to provide a comprehensive explanation of democratic development in both pre- and postcolonial African states.

The Social Mind: Language, Ideology, and Social Practices

The Social Mind was first published in 1990. It was meant to show that there was no conflict between sociocultural views of language, learning, and thinking and new psychological views of the mind/brain. Neural network approaches to the mind argue that the mind is furnished by an unbelievably large network of neural associations. These associations are based on our lived experiences, which are different for all of us. It is our social and cultural affiliations that shape and mentor our experiences so that we can share, collaborate, and communicate in terms of a social mind that we all partially share and nonetheless also contribute to in unique ways. The book still stands as a leading statement of how work on situated and embodied cognition leads us to, and contributes to, sociocultural theories of language and learning.

Monarchial Roles: Redefining Religion and Family under Henry VIII and Mary I

Henry VIII will always be remembered as the man who married six times and executed two of his wives. His eldest daughter, Mary I, is also commonly remembered for her less than flattering legacy as the English queen who burned over 300 Protestant subjects during her short reign. Although these events happened, there is more to Henry and Mary than their infamous legacies as English rulers. Used as an alternative explanation for their actions, role theory can illuminate the role conflict, identity conflict, and transformations that led to a separation of Henry VIII and Mary I as individuals, and as sovereigns. Their roles as King and Queen of England set them apart as individuals and led them to behave in a way that may not have been true to their characters if they were not monarchs, especially in sixteenth century English society. This book presents an additional theory through the study and exploration of the complicated lives of Henry VIII and Mary I and Tudor family politics.