New Podcast: Democracy in Africa and how the rules of the game shape political outcomes

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DiA’s Nic Cheeseman talks to Alice Evans about his new book, and how the idea that Africa is “institutionless” has undermined our understanding of politics on the continent.


The new book “Institutions and Democracy in Africa: How the rules of the game shape political developments” is out now with Cambridge University Press.

To celebrate, Nic talked to Dr Alice Evans of Kings College London for her excellent Four Questions podcast series, discussing everything from land rights to term-limits …

Key take home points

Although widely overlooked, formal rules have significantly impacted democratisation in African politics.

So, to understand democratisation, we need to focus less on personal relationships (like neopatrimonialism) and more on term limits, constitutions, electoral commissions, economic regulations and systems of land tenure.

When leaders uphold formal rules, this sets expectations, generating a positive feedback loop. For example, when a president stands down at the end of their term, subsequent presidents are more likely to do so.

Check out the podcast here:

Check out the book:…2D070F0ED4EE780F

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