Tag Archives: African Democracy

Political problems and possibilities in Lesotho


In this blog, Jeffrey Smith and John Aerni Flessner look at recent political ruptures in Lesotho, and prospects for the future. They argue that political pragmatism and compromise could win out. If it does, the country could continue to push forward some of the promising democratic and developmental achievements it has made in recent year.

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From fundamentalism to conservatism: The Tunisian Islamist party and the process of democratization.


In this blog, Francesco Cavatorta and Fabio Merone reflect on the trajectory of the Nahda party in Tunisia. Unlike the Islamist parties in many other Arab states, this party has becoming increasingly moderate since its inception. What can we learn from Nahda? What does their experience tell us about the fate of Political Islamism and […]

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The politics of factionalism in a fractured Zimbabwe


In this blog, Elmond Bandauko from the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute looks at the divisions that are currently defining politics in Zimbabwe. The ZDI is a political think tank based in the country, established in 2012.

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‘Your own kind of democracy?’: Negotiated understandings of democracy and development

Jonathan Fisher

In this blog, Jonathan Fisher explores how African governments have fundamentally challenged and reworked the central concepts through which western donors and governments have tried to understand them. Jonathan is a lecturer in International Development at the University of Birmingham.

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Reconsidering regime type and growth: Lies, dictatorships, and statistics


In this blog, Professor Christopher Magee and Professor John Doces tell us about their innovative research, which sheds light on the exaggerated growth rates that many dictatorships publish. The findings of their research were recently published in full in International Studies Quarterly. Christopher Magee is professor of economics at Bucknell University. John Doces is assistant professor of […]

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Circumventing the trap of the predatory African state narrative: Reflections from research on the Congolese armed forces


In this blog, Maria Eriksson Baaz and Judith Verweijen argue that we need to move beyond the idea that the Congolese army is simply an abusive force that preys on local civilians. This depiction overlooks all the ways in which citizens make use of the army to help settle local and personal disputes. It also suggests that there is […]

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Disappointing democrats: exploring the link between democratization and electoral turnover


In this article, Michael Wahman explores the links between electoral turnover and democratisation in countries where incumbents manipulate the electoral playing field to their advantage. Although you might think that an opposition win in such cases would accelerate democratisation, Wahman argues that this is not the case: parties may see the promise of democratisation as a […]

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Power and electoral politics in Ethiopia


In this blog, Elise Dufief argues that in the 2005 and 2010 elections, the Ethiopian government repeatedly made empty gestures towards democratic practice so that it could strengthen the state and secure its incumbency without risking international condemnation. We should expect that similar tactics will be used in May 2015 and, despite the political and […]

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Hypocrisy and forgetfulness: The critique of state capitalism


In this post, Ian Taylor tells us about his recent research on state capitalism and the oil sector in Africa. He argues that companies from Brazil, China, India, South Korea, and Turkey are increasingly competitive trading partners for countries across the continent and explores some of the unfair criticisms and real challenges that this shift […]

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What does Obama’s Washington Summit mean for Uhuru and other African leaders?

Nic Cheeseman

In his fortnightly column for the Daily Nation, Nic Cheeseman explores the significance of the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit. Obama is clearly eager to improve his standing with the continent and counter China’s influence. But do his gestures bring  too little, too late?

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