In This Review

The Military in African Politics
The Military in African Politics
Edited by John W. Harbeson
Praeger, 1987, 208 pp.

This excellent collection takes a fresh look at an important area, badly in need of updating. Pushing ahead from previous discussions of why the military came to power and how it relates to civilian technocrats, the authors look at how the military has ruled and, in the most interesting instances, what sorts of political institutions it has created. (The book mentions hardly at all, though, the military's economic dominion.) Extended case studies provide illuminating glimpses of the regimes (mostly left-wing except Nigeria's) which have most inventively institutionalized power and/or resolved political conflict, including those of Benin, Congo and Ethiopia.