Category Archives: Uncategorized

Associations and Democracy in Algeria

Jessica Northey

Jessica Northey kicks off our new series looking back on the Arab Spring, five years on. Her recent article in Democratization taps into broader debates on associational life in North Africa and the Middle East. Have associations in these countries been coopted by authoritarian governments? What part do associations play in explaining why the Arab Spring […]

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Decolonizing the Academy: A digital panel

This week, the University of Edinburgh’s Centre of African Studies is hosting the ‘Decolonizing the Academy’ conference. As part of this conference we are running a digital panel on activism and the academy. We hope that this new approach to panel presentations can provide a model for more accessible ways of sharing and debating knowledge.

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What does it mean to be Kenyan?

Editor: Nic Cheeseman

The question of identity has always been both a sensitive and a complicated question, particularly in Kenya. Now, the thorny issue has been taken on by a recent exhibition that combines art and research to explore the topic.  In his regular column for the Daily Nation, Nic Cheeseman joins forces with Wambui Wamae to investigate.

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The Successes and Failures of Economic Reform in Africa

Zainab Usman

Zainab Usman shares with us her new paper on political settlements in Nigeria. Zainab is a doctoral candidate in International Development at the University of Oxford. Her research assesses the oil economy, economic reform and political institutions in Nigeria since the transition to democracy in 1999. Zainab is also the co-convener of the Oxford University China-Africa Network (OUCAN). She tweets […]

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Event: How to strengthen legislatures in new democracies

The Westminster Foundation for Democracy is hosting an exciting new event as part of their  project on the political economy of democracy promotion on 17 March 2016.

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Parliaments: freedom’s friend or foe?

Editor: Nic Cheeseman

In recent years, numerous legislatures across Africa have attacked the very freedoms that we hoped they would defend. What motivates anti-democratic in these institutions? What measures can be taken to encourage legislatives to foster democratisation? Our Co-Editor Nic Cheeseman investigates. This blog was written as part of a broader series on parliamentary politics for Open Democracy.

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Opposition politics in Uganda: what can others learn?

Editor: Nic Cheeseman

Our Co-editor Nic Cheeseman penned his regular column for the Daily Nation from Uganda this week, where he was watching the general election. In this piece, Nic reflects on the progress made by Museveni’s opponent, Besigye, and asks what other opposition candidates in Africa can learn from his example. 

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Decolonising the Academy: call for papers

This year’s conference at the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh will be on the theme of ‘Decolonising the Academy’. This is a topic close to our hearts at DiA. Do read and share: we hope to see you there! 

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Stephen Carter on the politics of institution building


The Bigger Picture Project at the University of Edinburgh has teamed up with Democracy in Africa to bring you videos from academics as well as practitioners in international development and humanitarianism. In this post, Stephen Carter from Global Witness explores what global lessons on institution building can be drawn from his experience in Afghanistan.  

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Do we need to rethink how we measure inequality?

Alex Cobham

Debates around the role of inequality in Africa and beyond, and its impact on democracy, have been fierce. Much of the research that surrounds this issue, however, uses the Gini Co-efficient to measure inequality. Alex Cobham, from the Tax Justice Network, explains why this measure is so flawed and argues that we need to switch to […]

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