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This Discussion Paper is based on a conceptual and analytical reading of cases of unconstitutional change of government in Africa. It provides a deep and up-to-date exploration of the prospects for democratic consolidation on the continent against the backdrop of an upsurge in unconstitutional changes of government. Rather than focus only on the internal threats to democracy in Africa, the author also analyses the role of neighbouring states, regional organisations and hegemonic forces within the international community in advancing or limiting democracy. In this regard, this work sheds light on why the pursuit of the liberal democratic project in Africa has so far appeared to alienate ordinary people, while providing space for dominant elites to tamper with democratic institutions and processes, which then work against popular participation and democratic development. This paper is essential reading for scholars, policy practitioners, analysts and all those with an interest in the prospects for democracy in Africa.