Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Dr. Paul Rutledge
Between 1990 and 2005, the state of affairs in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, including Liberia, remained fragile due to continuous civil unrest and war. Although peace initiatives were initiated, progress toward peace has remained minimal. Ghana, one of the nations in Sub-Saharan Africa, has continued to demonstrate significant stability and progress in the midst of civil and political conflicts in the sub-region. Currently, little research exists on how Ghanaians managed to remain stable, while countries in the sub-region continued to experience civil unrests and wars. Using Eisenstadt's theory of sociological modernization as the theoretical foundation, the purpose of this holistic case study sought to understand factors that have driven stability in Ghana. Data were collected from multiple sources including 15 research participants of diverse professions and perspectives, numerous pertinent documents, and field notes. All data were inductively coded and then subjected to a thematic analysis procedure. Social change lessons extracted from the study linked to core findings include (a) Ghanaians demonstrate an understanding of the importance of both African and Western cultural experiences and integrating the experiences from both cultural sectors for national harmony, and (b) Ghanaians are pursuing a national development agenda through economic reforms, participatory democracy, and some level of equal distribution of the national wealth. The effectiveness of Ghana's national development agenda is demonstrated by capacity building and the strengthening of social service programs not just in the urban sector, but also in the rural sector of Ghanaian society. These two core social change lessons could remain useful for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.