"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075. Published since July 1957.

"Asia and Africa today" № 12 2020

DOI 10.31857/S032150750012797-8
Аuthor Tatyana S. DENISOVA
PhD (History), Leading Research Fellow, Centre for Tropical Africa Studies, Institute for African Studies, RAS ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

PhD (Political Science), Leading Research Fellow, Centre for Sociological and Political Sciences Studies, Institute for African Studies, RAS; Senior Research Fellow, HSE University (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Associate Professor, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Abstract:    The Republic of Benin, which at the time was called Dahomey, gained independence on 1 August 1960. Over its 60-year history, the country has experienced several military coups and non-violent regime changes, the turbulent first post-colonial years, and the periods of “socialist orientation” and “democratization”. However, despite frequent political transformations, for decades Benin has remained an “island of stability” in West Africa, where most states over the same time have routinely underwent wars or military-political conflicts.
   Benin's postcolonial political history may be divided into three main periods. The first, which lasted from the 1960 independence to the 1972 coup d'état, was the period of the crisis of decolonization and independent governance, which was manifested in extreme political instability. The second period, between 1972 and 1990, was marked by the implementation of the course towards “socialist development” and was characterized by the strengthening of the state apparatus, the nationalization of some private enterprises and the establishment of new state-owned and mixed-ownership enterprises. The third period - the so-called democratic renewal - has continued from 1990 till present and has been characterized by a return to multi-party politics, regular presidential and parliamentary elections, and the more or less successful implementation of economic recovery programs.
   The course toward non-capitalist development, which was proclaimed in 1974 by Mathieu Kérékou, has had a tremendous impact on the formation of Beninese society. It was under his leadership that there began the large-scale construction of rural roads, housing for the poor, agro-industrial complexes, etc. During his last term in power Kérékou abandoned the policy of “social orientation”, but, having died in 2015, remained in the memory of his descendants as one of the most prominent leaders in Africa. Lacking significant natural resources, the country, nevertheless, has consistently increased the rate of economic growth, if not overtaking than at least matching its regional neighbors in this regard.
Keywords: Benin, socialist orientation, Mathieu Kerekou, Patrice Talon, presidential and parliamentary elections, political transformation
Pages 38-45