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  • Author: Matthias Basedau, Michael Wahman
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Building on theoretical insights from research on the rentier state and the “resource curse,” several studies have supported the argument that oil hinders democracy. However, previous research on the rentier state has neglected the global surge of multiparty autocracies or “electoral authoritarian” regimes since the end of the Cold War. No systematic study has been carried out on the question of whether or not and how oil affects electoral contests in nondemocratic regimes. In this paper we contribute to filling this gap by combing the literature on multiparty autocracy and the political economy of the rentier state. As oil production creates substantial, nontransparent revenue streams to national and subnational governments, we hypothesize that oil production has a negative effect on electoral competitiveness, both cross‐ and subnationally, in multiparty autocracies. Consequently, the democratic “resource curse” emphasized in earlier work on the rentier state is likely to persist even after the introduction of multipartyism in cases where oil production predates democratic institutions. The paper tests the hypothesis cross‐nationally, using data on all multiparty elections held in the world in the period 1975–2010, and subnationally, using a new data set on subnational election results and oil production in Nigeria. Our results confirm that oil impedes electoral competitiveness, both cross‐ and subnationally, in multiparty autocracies.
  • Topic: Cold War, Democratization, Oil
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) is longterm and characterised by sporadic surges of violence against a backdrop of state disintegration, a survival economy and deep inter-ethnic cleavages. Armed groups (including the anti-balaka and the ex-Seleka) are fragmenting and becoming increasingly criminalised; intercommunal tensions have hampered efforts to promote CAR’s national unity and mend its social fabric. Unfortunately, the roadmap to end the crisis, which includes elections before the end of 2015, presents a short-term answer. To avoid pursuing a strategy that would merely postpone addressing critical challenges until after the polls, CAR’s transitional authorities and international partners should address them now by implementing a comprehensive disarmament policy, and reaffirming that Muslims belong within the nation. If this does not happen, the elections risk becoming a zero-sum game.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Arms Control and Proliferation, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Political Economy, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Gilbert Khadiagala
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Since independence, African states and organizations have made significant investments in conflict management and resolution tools. So why do some African states and regions remain saddled by conflict and instability? How can African states leverage democratic governance to end wars? The new report Silencing the Guns suggests that the key to ending conflict in Africa lies in fostering effective governance and creating political and economic institutions that can effectively prevent, manage, and resolve conflicts. Author Gilbert Khadiagala unpacks how and why democratic governance is linked to conflict prevention and management, and provides an overview of landmark trends that have influenced governance in Africa since the 1950s. He shows that not all forms of democratic governance reduce conflicts and examines the ways in which “developmental dictatorships,” corruption, and the privatization of security are posing obstacles for governance and peace today.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Democratization, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Somaliland’s hybrid system of tri-party democracy and traditional clan-based governance has enabled the consolidation of state-like authority, social and economic recovery and, above all, relative peace and security but now needs reform. Success has brought greater resources, including a special funding status with donors – especially the UK, Denmark and the European Union (EU) – as well as investment from and diplomatic ties with Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), though not international recognition. It is increasingly part of the regional system; ties are especially strong with Ethiopia and Djibouti. Given the continued fragility of the Somalia Federal Government (SFG), which still rejects its former northern region’s independence claims, and civil war across the Gulf of Aden in Yemen, Somaliland’s continued stability is vital. This in turn requires political reforms aimed at greater inclusion, respect for mediating institutions (especially the professional judiciary and parliament) and a regional and wider internationally backed framework for external cooperation and engagement.
  • Topic: Democratization, Governance, Elections
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somaliland
  • Author: Richard Youngs
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Politics in the Middle East are increasingly polarized and fragmented. The Arab Spring's citizen-led spirit of reform is still alive, but societies are increasingly torn apart by bitter tensions between Sunni and Shia, secular liberals and Islamists, and governments and civil society. As polarization has deepened, the concern with engaging in dialogue to bridge differences has intensified. The relationship between these mediation efforts and support for systemic reform will be a pivotal factor in the Middle East's future political trajectory.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Democratization, Islam, Regime Change, Governance, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Mongi Boughzala, Mohamed Tlili Hamdi
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Regional disparities and inequality between the rural and the urban areas in Tunisia have been persistently large and perceived as a big injustice. The main regions that did not receive an equitable share from the country's economic growth, as compared to the coastal regions that are highly urbanized, are the predominantly rural western regions. Their youth often have to migrate to the cities to look for work and most of them end up with low-paying and frustrating jobs in the informal sector. The more educated among them face a very uncertain outlook and the highest rate of unemployment. This bias is strongest for female workers and university graduates living in the poor rural regions. The purpose of this paper is to study the underlying causes and factors of these disparities and to discuss policies and measures that may allow these regions to benefit from faster and more inclusive growth.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia, Tunisia
  • Author: Mariana Llanos, Alexander Stroh, Cordula Tibi Weber, Charlotte Heyl
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper assesses the extent to which elected power holders informally intervene in the judiciaries of new democracies, an acknowledged but under-researched topic in studies of judicial politics. The paper first develops an empirical strategy for the study of informal interference based on perceptions recorded in interviews, then applies the strategy to six third-wave democracies, three in Africa (Benin, Madagascar and Senegal) and three in Latin America (Argentina, Chile and Paraguay). It also examines how three conditioning factors affect the level of informal judicial interference: formal rules, previous democratic experience, and socioeconomic development. Our results show that countries with better performance in all these conditioning factors exhibit less informal interference than countries with poorer or mixed performance. The results stress the importance of systematically including informal politics in the study of judicial politics.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Power Politics, Law
  • Political Geography: Africa, Argentina, Latin America, Tamil Nadu
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This report examines the increase in drug trafficking and consumption in West Africa and their impact on the state and on society. It concludes with recommendations on how the region can respond humanely, effectively and preemptively to these problems.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, War on Drugs, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anna van der Vleuten, Merran Hulse
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Research Center (SFB) 700
  • Abstract: As early as 1992, the Treaty of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) already included a commitment to human rights, democracy, and the rule of law as governance standards in its member states, but it was in 2001 that SADC significantly broadened its efforts at governance transfer. SADC focuses in particular on standards related to gender, (socioeconomic) human rights, and (electoral) democracy, which are promoted and protected through various instruments including military interventions and sanctions in the framework of security cooperation. While the rule of law and good governance have also gained a more prominent place on the agenda since 2001, standards and instruments are less developed. Overall, there is a significant gap between the prescription of standards and policies on the one hand and the implementation of measures on the other. The suspension of the SADC Tribunal in 2010 following its rulings on human rights issues clearly shows the limits of SADC as an active promoter vis-à-visits member states.
  • Topic: Democratization, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Maghreb is in motion. Political changes underway across North Africa have created opportunities for more representative and transparent governance. Debates over the nature of authority and the role of the state that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago now shape political discourse. And yet, doubts remain.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Development, Regime Change, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Libby Lloyd
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: CIMA announces the release of its most recent report, South Africa's Media 20 Years After Apartheid, by Libby Lloyd, a journalist and researcher on freedom of expression and media policy in South Africa. The report traces how in the post-1994 democratic era South Africa's news media has become among the most concentrated in the world, affecting the quality of its content and the sales of its newspapers. It also examines how decreasing international development support has exacerbated that process - See more at: http://cima.ned.org/publications/south-africas-media-20-years-after-apartheid#sthash.4gCKzUe6.dpuf.
  • Topic: Apartheid, Democratization, Human Rights, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sebastian Elischer
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The effects of organized labor on regime change in developing countries are not clear‐cut. Optimists argue that union agitation is conducive to both democratic transition and consolidation processes. Pessimists hold that unions will support any regime that is conducive to their demands. Accordingly, unions may support regime transitions; however, once their economic interests are under threat, they will jeopardize the subsequent consolidation process. Systematic studies on the effects of organized labor on regime change in sub‐ Saharan Africa are sparse and largely confined to the (pre)transition phase. This article examines the role of organized labor in Niger between 1990 and 2010. Given the high number of regime breakdowns during the period, a longitudinal study of Nigerien labor enables a critical examination of motives and actions of organized labor toward different regime types. In contrast to other recent findings on African unionism, the article confirms the pessimistic view.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Regime Change, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Lars Buur, Obede Baloi, Carlota Mondlane Tembe
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the General Peace Accord (GPA) in 1992 ending the civil war and the first democratic elections in 1994, Mozambique has experienced a peaceful transition towards democracy, underpinned by successive rounds of local and national elections, which have been, if not totally free, then at least sufficiently free to be accepted by the international community. This, combined with sustained economic growth (Sousa and Sulemane 2007), a substantial decline in people living below the poverty line, relatively high levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) and very high and continued levels of foreign donor support has made Mozambique 'a success story' for the international donor community where few such stories seem available (Renzio and Hanlon 2006: 3). This has triggered continuous and generous levels of assistance and made Mozambique the ultimate 'donor darling'. But with the opening up of the rich natural resource endowment in energy, gas, oil and minerals to exploitation after Frelimo's election victory in 2009, the country stands at a critical juncture, with the potential to become donor-independent within the foreseeable future.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Political Economy, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Rosemary Armao
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: An unparalleled opportunity for media developers to boost democracy is at hand in the Middle East and North Africa, where once repressed media and civil society groups are forming in the wake of popular uprisings that toppled or are threatening regimes. New constitutions are being drafted, new forms of government debated, and new representatives selected, all against a backdrop of new citizen empowerment and tension among differing parties if not, as in the case of Egypt, outright violence. In addition, new media and technology have radically changed both the political debate in societies and how that debate is covered compared to the past.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Science and Technology, Mass Media, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Paul Salem, Amanda Kadlec
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: More than a year after the outbreak of the uprising against Muammar Qaddafi's rule, Libya is in the midst of a challenging transition. Qaddafi is dead, his forty-two-year-old regime overthrown, and the country liberated. And now Libyans are laying the groundwork for elections that will start their country on the path to a new constitution.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Democratization, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Arabia
  • Author: Ibrahim Saif, Muhammad Abu Rumman
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Islamist parties have gained newfound political power across the Arab world. Four parties in particular—Tunisia's Ennahda, Egypt's Freedom and Justice Party, Morocco's Justice and Development Party, and Jordan's Islamic Action Front—have either made a strong showing at the ballot box or are expected to in upcoming elections. Their successes have dredged up fears about their political and social ambitions, with worries ranging from the enforcement of sharia law to the implications for Western tourists on these countries' beaches. Meanwhile, the parties' economic platforms have largely been overlooked, despite the serious challenges that lie ahead for the economies of the Arab world.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Islam, Political Economy, Regime Change, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ole Therkildsen, France Bourgouin
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper presents analyses of the current composition of Tanzania's ruling coalition, comprised mainly of the ruling party (the CCM), the bureaucracy and the military, of how it has changed over time and of how its funding has evolved. Specifically, it discusses how historical legacies, structural changes in the economy and specific crises have influenced the composition of the ruling coalition, the holding power of its factions and the strategic use of resources to maintain its power. The paper concludes that Tanzania's ruling coalition is presently characterised by conflicts and bargaining among strong factional elites within the ruling coalition and by the increasing power of its lower level factions. Opposition parties are largely excluded from influence and remain weak. Economic entrepreneurs in the formal productive sectors are few and poorly organised. Their relations with the ruling coalition are ambiguous and largely informal, although exchanges of money and rents are of increasing importance in the relationship. Moreover, informal sector entrepreneurs and smallholders in agriculture are largely excluded from the ruling coalition. There is little evidence that the ruling coalition – despite decades of political stability – has used its position to build and strengthen the productive capacity of domestic entrepreneurs.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Sebastian Elischer, Gero Erdmann, Alexander Stroh
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In the early 1990s most African countries carried out extensive reforms of their electoral regimes. Adopting a historical institutionalist approach, this paper critically examines the role of institutional path dependence in accounting for the setup of six African electoral regimes. For this purpose, we distinguish between different types of path dependence. The paper further analyzes the extent to which the development of electoral institutions contributed to the regime-type outcome (democratic/hybrid/autocratic). The main emphasis herein is on so-hybrid regimes;” in other words, regimes existing in the grey zone between democracy and autocracy. The paper finds that, while institutional path dependence has a limited but important impact on the setup of the electoral regimes, it is ultimately the process of decision-making during critical junctures that accounts for the regime type outcome. Hybrid regimes lack long-term institutional ownership.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Human Rights, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: En dépit du fonctionnement régulier des institutions et du discours officiel vantant les progrès en matière de déve- loppement et de sécurité, le Burundi est en train de perdre les acquis de l'accord d'Arusha. En raison de l'impasse électorale de 2010, le système de partage du pouvoir conçu à Arusha a fait place à un monopartisme de fait qui se traduit par la fin du dialogu e entre l'opposition et le gouvernement, une dérive autorita ire et le retour de la vio- lence politique. Le respect de la minorité politique et de la règle de droit, essentiel à la démocratie, semble ignoré depuis 2010. Afin de pérenniser les acquis du processus de paix et la stabilité du pays, la classe politique burundaise doit renouer avec le dialogue, ga rantir le pluralisme poli- tique en vue des échéances électorales de 2015 et veiller à un processus de justice trans itionnelle consensuel. En rai- son de leur implication dans le processus de paix, l'importance de leur aide au Burundi et l'absence de bailleurs alternatifs, les partenaires internationaux actuels doivent mettre ces trois questions au centre de leur dialogue avec le gouvernement.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Corruption, Democratization, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Verena Kroth
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper tests the theory of context-conditional political budget cycles in South Africa's dominant party framework and demonstrates that the central government has both an incentive and the ability to implement PBCs on the subnational level. Using a unique panel dataset comprising South Africa's nine provinces over the period 1995–2010 generates two main results: First, provinces where the national ruling party faces greater electoral competition receive higher per capita transfers in the year before an election. Second, this increase is driven by the conditional grant, which is the nonformula-based component of total the intergovernmental transfer. The ability to implement political budget cycles is successfully constrained when it comes to the formula-based equitable share component of the total transfer for which no evidence of electorally-induced funding is found. Overall, the results suggest that even in a dominant party framework, political competition can function as an incentive to implement political budget cycles.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Government, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since 2001, violence has erupted in Jos city, capital of Plateau state, in Nigeria's Middle Belt region. The ostensible dispute is over the “rights” of the indigene Berom/ Anaguta/Afizere (BAA) group and the rival claims of the Hausa-Fulani settlers to land, power and resources. Indigene- settler conflicts are not new to Nigeria, but the country is currently experiencing widespread intercommunal strife, which particularly affects the Middle Belt. The Jos crisis is the result of failure to amend the constitution to privilege broad-based citizenship over exclusive indigene status and ensure that residency rather than indigeneity determines citizens' rights. Constitutional change is an important step to defuse indigene-settler rivalries that continue to undermine security. It must be accompanied by immediate steps to identify and prosecute perpetrators of violence, in Jos and other parts of the country. Elites at local, state and federal level must also consistently implement policies aimed at reducing the dangerous link between ethnic belonging and access to resources, power and security if intercommunal violence is to end.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Natural Resources, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Inge Amundsen
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Nigeria has experienced military coups, a civil war and very poor economic development, and its population is more impoverished today than at independence. Behind this lies the “oil curse”. The ruling elite has captured the rents generated from oil for personal enrichment and power purposes. Nigeria's elite formation has three distinct characteristics. It is based on a fusion of elites, with the military dominating. It is consolidated through power diversification (with the conversion of political power into economic power as the most important), and it is enriched through economic extraction (where the usurpation of the country's oil wealth is pivotal).
  • Topic: Civil War, Corruption, Democratization, Oil, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Øystein Rolandsen, Jacob Høigilt
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The Sudan has gone through two harrowing civil wars since its independence in 1956. Foreign interference and assistance prolonged these, but external involvement has also been vital in Sudanese peace processes. This was the case with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Government of the Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), the main rebel group, which was signed on 9 January 2005. The peace process that culminated in that agreement was led and hosted by the neighbouring countries through the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), with support from further afield, in particular the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa and Norway. These countries have now intensified their involvement in discussions of post-CPA arrangements. The CPA process will have momentous consequences also for Egypt, as thus for Sudanese-Egyptian relations. It is therefore important that Egypt have a clear policy towards, and a constructive engagement in, deliberations over the Sudan's future.
  • Topic: Civil War, Democratization, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, United Kingdom, Sudan, Egypt
  • Author: Øystein Rolandsen, Jacob Høigilt, Åshild Falch
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: As a former coloniser and the Sudan's Nile-valley neighbour to the north, Egypt will inevitably be affected by the Sudan's political transition. As Egypt's regional influence appears to wane, the Sudan's increasing economic strength and the likely secession of Southern Sudan exemplify Egypt's overall difficulties in regard to the regional politics of the Horn of Africa and Nile Basin. Egyptian policy-makers and diplomats struggle with fundamental contradictions in Egypt's current regional status, competing priorities, and the need to stay on good terms with all political parties in the Sudan. To be able to balance domestic needs, relations with its immediate neighbours, and its role as a regional power Egypt must reshape its foreign policy; Egypt's national interests in the Sudan preclude neutrality in the processes ahead. It can however play a key role in a joint regional and international effort to secure the peaceful secession for Southern Sudan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Civil War, Democratization, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Islam
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Sudan, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Six mois après la nouvelle victoire électorale du Conseil national pour la défense de la démocratie et Forces de défense de la démocratie (CNDD-FDD), le Burundi s'enfonce dans une impasse politique qui pourrait se transformer en une crise majeure susceptible de remettre en cause dix ans de progrès. En effet, au lieu de consolider la démocratie, les élections communale, parlementaire et présidentielle de 2010 ont abouti à la marginalisation de l'opposition, au p assage dans la clandestinité des Forces nationales de libération (FNL) et à l'émergence d'une nouvelle rébellion. Combinée à un système de gouvernance faible, cette évolution pourrait conduire à un recul démocratique. Seul s le rétablissement du dialogue politique entre le gouvernement et l'opposition, la sortie de la clandestinité pour les FNL et le renforcement des institutions démocratiques sont de nature à inverser cette dangereuse évolution.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Politics, Political Power Sharing
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The April 2010 elections in Sudan were mandated by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). They were intended to be instrumental in setting the stage for the referendum and corresponding negotiations and were envisioned as a critical part of a broader democratic transformation. In the period between the CPA's signing and the holding of the national elections, political rights and freedoms were circumscribed, placing limits on political parties and civil society and fostering distrust between the ruling parties and the opposition in the North and South that was to prove central in undermining the inclusiveness and credibility of the elections.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Civil War, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Danielle Resnick
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Electoral coalitions are becoming increasingly popular among opposition parties in Africa because they offer many advantages with respect to reducing party fragmentation and increasing incumbent turnovers. At the same time, however, they are often comprised of parties that are defined predominantly by their leaders' personalities and exhibit little differentiation in terms of their policy orientation. Based on a dataset spanning all opposition coalitions since 2000 in Africa's electoral democracies, this paper demonstrates not only that coalitions rarely defeat incumbents but also that they are only competitive when major opposition parties are involved. More significantly, the paper highlights that in many countries, a sizeable share of total electoral volatility is due to fluctuations in voting for opposition parties that have belonged to coalitions. The paper argues that such volatility reflects the inability of coalition members to build loyal constituency bases over time, which is critical for party development and broader consolidation.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sean Jacobs
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs
  • Abstract: The last two decades or so has seen an explosion of interest in the question of civil society and the role of media and information in democratic politics. Specifically for Africa, the development of strong civil societies is seen as vital for democratization and democratic stability and in thinking about the State. Much of the literature has a prescriptive tone, suggesting that the development of privately owned media enterprises is the key to the emergence of a fully functioning public sphere, in which government wrongdoing will be exposed and democratic debate can take place. In much of the writing, particularly by political scientists, dependence on the state is the main factor, along with resource constraints, lack of training, and inability to reach areas of the population that cripples media and its ability to nourish the free flow of ideas in civil society. However, this paper is less interested in how much we can expect from the kind of institutional reform implied by the scholarship mentioned above, but rather from the assumptions about the role of the state and the place of media in African politics. The paper will discuss these issues in the context of a very advanced and well-developed media system – that of democratic South Africa – to see how well it is fulfilling the expectation of this literature.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ana Larcher Carvalho
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Since gaining independence from France in 1958, Guinea has remained relatively stable and has never experienced violent conflict. Until the bloodless military coup of 2008, it had had only two governments: the socialist administration of Sékou Touré (1958-1984) and the liberal regime of Lansana Conté (1984-2008). Despite some moves towards a more democratic system, including the adoption by referendum of a new constitution in 1990, the latter years of the Conté government were marked by bad governance, human rights violations, weak rule of law and impunity. This was compounded by the prolonged illness of the president, whose fitness to govern was widely doubted, and by 2003 there were fears that Guinea could become yet another failed state.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Government, Torture, Regime Change, Law
  • Political Geography: Africa, Guinea
  • Author: Judith Vorrath
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Despite recent elections in Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda and upcoming elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Great Lakes region shows worrying trends toward electoral authoritarianism and political fragmentation, with new divisions that intensify the potential for confrontation. A shrinking political space and a tight grip on the state by the ruling elites and their parties are signs of authoritarianism in the region—a cause of concern since armed conflict in all four countries has been strongly linked to a history of exclusion under autocratic regimes. New divisions beyond previous alignments in armed conflicts also have occurred and already led to serious confrontations, flight, and at times violence. An increasing political fragmentation has become visible, and splits embroil intraparty conflicts in the political landscape instead of resolving them. The two trends—electoral authoritarianism and political fragmentation—are mutually reinforcing within and across the countries of the region and risk jeopardizing economic and social progress in Uganda and Rwanda as well as an emerging vibrant civil society in Burundi and the DRC. In light of the history of conflict and autocratic regimes in the region, these trends have to be a serious concern for local and international actors. The preference for stable leadership, economic performance, and security considerations regardless of political conduct has been a fatal miscalculation before in the Great Lakes region. Rather, acting early and using pressure constructively, the international community should do what it can to support a more open and less fragmented political sphere in the Great Lakes countries.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Political Economy, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Burundi
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Les opérations nationales d'enregistrement des électeurs qui avaient débuté en avril 2011 ont pris fin le 17 juillet. Cet enregistrement, qui aboutit à une augmentation de l'ensemble du corps électoral de presque 6,3 millions de personnes (24,5 pour cent) par rapport aux élections de 2006, a pu avoir lieu dans les délais prescrits, y compris dans les régions troublées que sont les provinces des Ki- vus et le district de l'Ituri. Si les enrôlements se sont rela- tivement bien déroulés, cela tient surtout au fait que la carte d'électeur sert aussi de carte d'identité et qu'elle est aussi utile aux miliciens qu'aux citoyens ordinaires. Ni la société civile ni les partis politiques n'ont fondamentale- ment contesté les opérations d'enregistrement au niveau local mais cela n'est pas synonyme de satisfaction. Les surprenants résultats annoncés par la Commission Electo- rale Nationale Indépendante (CEN I), le déficit de dialogue et l'absence de vérification de leur bonne inscription par les électeurs alimentent une su spicion latente mais généra- lisée dans l'opposition et la société civile. Afin de renfor- cer la crédibilité du processus électoral, il convient d'amé- liorer sa transparence, de respecter scrupuleusement le code électoral et de mettre en place un dialogue formel entre la CENI, les partis politiques et la société civile.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Civil War, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Après l'élection d'Alpha Condé à la présidence en novembre 2010, des élections législatives doivent clôturer une nouvelle étape de la transition politique guinéenne. La récente expérience de politisation violente des ethnicités et le manque de confiance des acteurs politiques dans le dispositif électoral sont des motifs d'inquiétude. Le président Condé a engagé unilatéralement une refonte du système électoral, mais il suscite d'autant plus de méfiance que les perspectives du parti présidentiel pour les législatives sont incertaines. Il n'a prêté que peu d'attention, et bien tard, à la réconciliation et au dialogue avec son opposition, très mobilisée. La Guinée ne peut se permettre ni un bricolage du système électoral ni une nouvelle campagne fondée sur des arguments ethniques. Un accroissement des tensions à l'approche du scrutin pourrait susciter des violences intercommunautaires. Il pourrait aussi offrir une opportunité d'agir à ceux qui, dans l'armée, se satisfont mal d'avoir regagné les casernes. L'attaque lancée le 19 juillet 2011 par des militaires contre la résidence du président confirme la réalité de ce risque. Un véritable accord entre les principaux acteurs politiques sur les modalités des élections législatives est impératif et urgent. Sans une forte implication internationale, les chances de parvenir à un tel accord sont minces.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Political Economy, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Liberia's October 2011 general and presidential elections, the second since civil war ended in 2003, are an opportunity to consolidate its fragile peace and nascent democracy. Peaceful, free and fair elections depend on how well the National Elections Commission (NEC) handles the challenges of the 23 August referendum on constitutional amendments and opposition perceptions of bias toward the president's Unity Party (UP). The NEC, the government, political parties, presidential candidates, civil society, media and international partners each have roles to play to strengthen trust in the electoral process. They should fight the temptation to treat the elections as not crucial for sustaining the progress made since the civil war. But even after good elections five factors will be critical to lasting peace: a more convincing fight against corruption; deeper commitment to transforming Liberia with a new breed of reform-minded political players; sustained international engagement in supporting this more ambitious transformation; economic development; and regional stability, particularly in Côte d'Ivoire.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Political Economy, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: A question often asked since the launch of the Arab Spring in January 2011 is what effect will these popular protests have on democracy in the rest of Africa. Frequently overlooked in this discussion is that Sub-Saharan Africa has been experiencing its own democratic surge during this time with important advances in Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Nigeria, and Zambia, among other countries. This progress builds on nearly two decades of democratic institution building on the continent. Even so, the legacy of “big-man” politics continues to cast a long shadow over Africa's governance norms. Regime models on the continent, moreover, remain highly varied, ranging from hard core autocrats, to semi-authoritarians, democratizers, and a select number of democracies.
  • Topic: Democratization, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia, Nigeria, Zambia
  • Author: Assis Malaquias
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy in 1994 was expected to usher in a new era of peace, stability, and accelerated development. However, despite widespread optimism, political violence has persisted. Although a fraction of that experienced under apartheid, levels of political violence are worsening and indicative of the country's potential fragility. They also map out the fault lines along which South Africa may yet stumble.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Apartheid, Democratization, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the Fourth Republic was inaugurated in 1993, politics in Ghana has been increasingly characterized by competitive clientelism. Ruling coalitions are characterized by a high degree of vulnerability in power due to a strong opposition party, by strong lower-level factions within the ruling coalition due to their importance in winning elections, and by a high degree of fragmentation among the ruling elite. These characteristics, combined with a weak domestic capitalist class and high inflows of foreign aid, have led the ruling elites across political parties to pursue and implement policies that have a short time horizon, that do not significantly shift the allocation of resources towards building productive sectors, and which are often plagued by problems of enforcement. The results have led to growth without economic transformation. In particular, the country has witnessed recurrent macroeconomic instability, a haphazard process of privatization of state-owned enterprises, and no serious attempt to build up productive sectors outside of cocoa and gold.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Politics, Social Stratification, Foreign Aid, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: A question often asked since the launch of the Arab Spring in January 2011 is what effect will these popular protests have on democracy in the rest of Africa. Frequently overlooked in this discussion is that Sub-Saharan Africa has been experiencing its own democratic surge during this time with important advances in Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Nigeria, and Zambia, among other countries. This progress builds on nearly two decades of democratic institution building on the continent. Even so, the legacy of "big-man" politics continues to cast a long shadow over Africa's governance norms. Regime models on the continent, moreover, remain highly varied, ranging from hard core autocrats, to semi-authoritarians, democratizers, and a select number of democracies.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Governance, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia, Nigeria
  • Author: Dirk Kohnert
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Recent development cooperation with Guinea-Bissau, focusing on good governance, state-building and conflict prevention, did not contribute to democratization nor to the stabilization of volatile political, military and economic structures. The portrayal of Guinea-Bissau as a failed “narco-state”, as we ll as Western aid meant to stabilize this state, are both based on dubious concepts. Certainly, the impact of drug trafficking could endanger democratization and state-building if continued unchecked. However, the most pressing need is not state-building facilitated by external aid that is poorly rooted in the social and political fabric of the country. Rather, it is grassroots nation-building that is a pre-condition for the creation of viable state institutions.
  • Topic: Democratization, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Africa, Guinea-Bissau
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The African Union (AU) has committed to a vision of Africa that is 'integrated, prosperous and peaceful … driven by its own citizens, a dynamic force in the global arena' (Vision and Mission of the African Union, May 2004).
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anika Moroff
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Since 1990 the banning of ethnic and other identity-based parties has become the norm in sub-Saharan Africa. This article focuses on Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda as three East African countries that have opted for different ways of dealing with such parties. Using case studies, it traces the origins of the party bans in Tanzania and Uganda and explores the reasons for the absence of a ban in Kenya. The analysis shows that the laws on particularistic parties have actually been implemented by the appropriate institutions. However, these laws have only marginally influenced the character of the political parties in the three countries: A comparison of regional voting patterns suggests that bans on particularistic parties have not ensured the emergence of aggregative parties with a national following in Tanzania and Uganda. In Kenya on the other hand, where such a ban was nonexistent until 2008, parties have not proven to be more regional.
  • Topic: Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Africa, Tanzania
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: After 28 years of the Biya presidency, Cameroon faces potential instability in the run up to the presidential elections scheduled for late 2011. Constitutional and legal uncertainty; rivalries between the regime's leading figures; the government's attempts to control the electoral process; the rupture of the political contract between leaders and the population; widespread poverty and frustration; extensive corruption; and the frustration of a large part of the army all point to the possibility of a major crisis. To escape this Biya and his government must restore the independence of the body responsible for elections; institutionalise an impartial fight against corruption and ensure the military's political neutrality. They must also urgently establish the institutions envisaged by the 1996 constitution, so that a power vacuum and the potential for violence can be avoided in the event of a transition, including an unexpected one such as the death of the 77-year-old president in office. Cameroon's most influential partners, particularly France and the U.S., should actively support such measures to avoid unrest.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Politics, Political Power Sharing
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Elections are the hallmark of representative democracy, allowing the people's regular input in choices about leaders and policy. Yet they are also competitive processes, unleashing conflict and tensions that, if not constructively managed, could potentially destabilize the fabric of states and societies. Since the new wave of democratization in Africa in the early 1990s, elections have become a core ingredient of popular participation in the governance process. At the same time, elections have spawned conflicts and violence and scrambled ethnic and regional alliances that sometimes threaten the social order, economic development, and efforts to strengthen regional integration. With the steady decline of some of the historic causes of African conflicts, elections have emerged as one of the major recent sources of conflict across Africa. The challenges occasioned by election-related conflicts and political violence underscore the importance of building institutions that balance competition with order, participation with stability, and contestation with consensus.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Peace Studies, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Largely unnoticed outside the region, the Sudanese states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile have begun the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)–mandated process of popular consultation, which permits Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile to either adopt the CPA as the final settlement between the two states and the Government of Sudan (GoS) or renegotiate the CPA to remedy any shortcomings and reach a final settlement. The first phase of the popular consultation process involves civic education campaigns to inform the two states' populations of the contents of the CPA and the issues at stake. The second phase is the consultations themselves, which are to be conducted by a commission in each state. The results of the consultations will be reported to the state assemblies and inform the positions taken by the states during negotiations with the central government. A successful popular consultation could begin to transform Sudanese politics by realigning political interests from political parties to the states and could provide a test case for new governance structures between the center and the states. A neglected or mismanaged process could destabilize not just Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, but all of Sudan. The international community can contribute to a successful process through financial assistance, monitoring and reporting, promoting reconciliation within the population, and engaging directly with Khartoum and Juba to smooth negotiations. It might also anticipate possible procedural challenges and prepare to engage in creative and quiet diplomacy should the need arise.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Democratization, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Daniel Large, Luke Patey
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Sudan is at an important, historic moment. The upcoming referendum vote may very likely result in the South becoming an independent state. Since the landmark signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, China, and to a lesser extent India, have become even more important political and economic partners of the ruling National Congress Party in Khartoum. Generally, commentaries and studies covering China and India's relations with Sudan focus on their interactions with the central government in Khartoum. However, this paper finds that both have also followed a necessary hedging strategy by establishing quasi-diplomatic relations with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-run Government of Southern Sudan in Juba. Both have expanded economic and political relations beyond investment in Sudan's oil sector and beyond merely engaging Khartoum. Chinese and Indian engagement with the GOSS in Juba marks a major shift in policy from dealing exclusively with the central government. The adaptation of both to political developments, however, does not leave them invulnerable to present uncertainties revolving around Sudan's potential split. Due to its economic role in Sudan, China in particular is in a unique position to promote a peaceful transition.
  • Topic: Democratization, Diplomacy, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Sudan, India
  • Author: Kasper Hoffmann
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to propose an analysis which discloses the various interdependencies that may exist between modes of objectifying the nation and the legitimacy of discursive strategies of nation-building in the context of a grave social conflict. The paper advances two interrelated arguments. Firstly, it argues that the order of conflict in the Congo is contingent on the strictly symbolic efficacy of myths of identity. Secondly it argues that the "charisma" of some of the country's "Big Men" is a related to what I call the democratization of sovereignty, and neither to their supposedly exceptional individual qualities nor to a specifically African "Big Man"-syndrome. I propose that while one must be critical of the Weberian notion of "charisma" as a sociological theory of prophecy, one can nonetheless use the notion of "charisma" as a tool to analyse symbolic properties that accrue to a specific individual and his followers, to the extent that they embody a subjectivity which is held as absolute by his, or their, proper discourse.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: John Campbell
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Nigeria is a country of overlapping regional, religious, and ethnic divisions. Rifts between the North and the South of the country, ethnic groups, and Islam and Christianity often coincide and have sometimes resulted in sectarian violence. This has been the case particularly in its geographical center and in the Niger Delta region. In the Middle Belt, as the former is called, bouts of retributive bloodshed between Christian farmers and Muslim pastoralists erupt with some frequency. In the Niger Delta, an insurrection against the Abuja government has been raging for more than a decade over regional, ethnic, and environmental grievances. In all, credible observers ascribe over twelve thousand deaths since 1999 to ethnic, religious, and regional conflict in Nigeria.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: David Budde, Mathias Großklaus
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: This paper conceptualizes a framework of political steering that includes modern conceptions of power as formulated by Foucault, Habermas, Bourdieu and others and applies it to the empirical analysis of the EU neighborhood policies. Analyzing the promotion of human rights and democracy as part of a comprehensive security strategy in Morocco since 2003, the authors scrutinize the use and the resonance of hierarchic, indirect and soft steering modes in EU external governance in the Southern Mediterranean. The findings suggest that Europe employs a complex strategy that targets governing officials, civil society actors and society at large, each with a respective mix of steering modes. Whereas classic incentives failed to initiate reforms at the government level, they proved effective in empowering Moroccan civil society actors. Soft modes are shown to play a decisive role in shaping the self-image of the administration officials vis-à-vis the EU and the parameters of public discourse on human rights and democracy, thus allowing for non-governmental actors to encroach on the government and demand democratic reforms. The integrated perspective on steering mechanisms in EU neighborhood policies thereby reveals the need to further explore micro-techniques of power in external governance analysis.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Arabia, North Africa, Morocco
  • Author: Rachel Beatty Riedl
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper asks (a) how to understand the development of new institutions in nascent democracies, and (b) what explains the persistence of institutional forms that do not conform to rationalist expectations of competitive efficiency. Much scholarship focuses on the power of strategic coordination under formal rules to shape democratic institutions, such as the form of the party system. This article contends that strict rationalist explanations of party systems leave unexplored the ways in which individual politician's and voter's strategic calculations are bounded by the organizational imperatives of systemic competition. Sociological theories of institutional development better explain the organizational logic driving party system origin and endurance in new democracies. The article uses original interview data from three contrasting cases of party system development in Africa to highlight the empirical puzzle that drives this conclusion: despite seemingly analogous democratic origins, largely similar conditions of low economic development, high ethnic heterogeneity, and weak state capacity, as well as comparable formal electoral rules in pairwise combinations, the party systems across Africa demonstrate incredible cross-national variation in the ways in which political parties organize and compete for power. Additionally, party systems maintain these varied forms over time rather than converging on a “most efficient” model. A focus on the particular mechanisms of reproduction through institutional isomorphism contributes to the research agenda of explaining institutional development, change, and stability.
  • Topic: Democratization, Political Theory, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ebere Onwudiwe, Chloe Berwind-Dart
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Nigeria's 2011 polls will mark the fourth multiparty election in Nigeria and, if a power transfer occurs, only the second handover of civilian administrations since the country's return to democracy in 1999. Past election cycles have featured political assassinations, voter intimidation, intra-and interparty clashes, and communal unrest. Party primary season, the days immediately surrounding elections, and the announcement of results have been among the most violent periods in previous cycles. Although the most recent elections in 2007 derived some benefit from local conflict management capacity, they were roundly criticized for being neither free nor fair. The 2011 elections could mark a turning point in the consolidation of Nigeria's democracy, but they could also provoke worsening ethnosectarian clashes and contribute to the continuing scourge of zero-sum politics. President Umaru Yar'Adua, who died in May 2010, kept his 2007 inauguration promise to create an Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) but failed to adopt key recommendations that the committee made. His successor, President Goodluck Jonathan, appointed a widely respected professor, Attahiru Jega, to head the Independent National Electoral Commission, inspiring hope that electoral processes will improve in 2011. The issue of “zoning,” the political elite's power-sharing agreement, has taken center stage in the current election cycle and will drive significant conflict if the debate around it devolves into outright hostilities. his unusual election cycle, local and international organizations and Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) must redouble their efforts both to prevent and resolve conflicts and to promote conflict sensitivity. The near term requires an increasingly important role for the judiciary in combating electoral fraud, and the longer term requires the creation of the ERC–recommended Electoral Offenses Commission, which would specialize in the investigation and prosecution of crimes. Local agencies and respected community leaders must remain proactive and creative in violence-prevention programming, irrespective of international funding. Established local organizations with preexisting networks are best situated to perform early-warning and conflict management functions. High voter turnout and citizen monitoring are vital for ensuring that the 2011 elections in Nigeria are credible and civil.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Peter Meyns (ed), Charity Musamba (ed)
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: Against the background of successful developmental experiences in East Asia this report discusses the relevance of the developmental state concept to conditions in Africa. In her contribution Charity Musamba reviews the main theoretical literature on the developmental state and identifies four key features which have informed successful implementation in East Asian countries. With regard to Africa, she challenges the “impossibility theorem” and supports African analysts who defend the need for a democratic developmental state in Africa. Peter Meyns analyzes the development path of an African country, Botswana, which – not withstanding certain weaknesses– can be seen as an example of a successful developmental state in the African context.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Author: Alexander Stroh
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Recent publications suggest that exclusively ethnoregional parties are as rare in sub-Saharan Africa as elsewhere. At the same time, the idea that ethnicity is a very special feature of African party politics persists. The paper acknowledges the general relevance of ethnicity in party competition but emphasizes the level on which it becomes important. It develops a microbehavioral approach which pays particular attention to the strategic choices of party elites in order to supplement the dominant structuralist thinking in party research on Africa. An in-depth evaluation of detailed election data from Burkina Faso shows that strategies which rely on personal proximity between the voter and the candidates influence the parties' success to a great extent. Parties maximize their chances of winning seats if they concentrate their limited resources on the home localities of leading party members. Hence, African party politics are less dependent on ethnic demography than is often implied but more open to change through elite behavior.
  • Topic: Democratization, Demographics, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Briggs Bomba
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Policy Information Center
  • Abstract: Great Zimbabwe, the monument, is an imposing structure of stone blocks daringly constructed without mortar. The ruined ancient city, still majestic in its presence, is said to be the biggest ancient stone structure in Africa outside the Egyptian pyramids. This impressive fortress stood for hundreds of years defying time and weather to become not only a national symbol of strength, audacious vision, and power but also a firm footprint and testimony to ancient ingenuity on the African continent. Zimbabwe, the country, born in 1980 following independence from almost a century of British colonial rule, lies prostate today, ruined like the ancient city from which it got its name. For the past decade, the country has been coming apart block by block. Evidently, like the ruins, the country of Zimbabwe was constructed without mortar.
  • Topic: Democratization, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe, Egypt
  • Author: Jake Sherman
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The Center for International Cooperation's Security Sector Reform project, funded by the Royal Government of Norway, undertook a comparative study of legislative oversight of security sector reform (SSR) in West Africa during 2008.
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Matthias Basedau, Alexander Stroh
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Despite earlier assumptions that ethnicity is a central feature of African party systems, there is little substantial evidence for this claim. The few studies with an empirical foundation rarely rely on individual data and are biased in favor of Anglophone Africa. This paper looks at four Francophone countries, drawing on four representative survey polls in Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. Multivariate regression models and bivariate control tools reveal that ethnicity matters as a determinant of party preference, but that its impact is generally rather weak and differs with regard to party systems and individual parties. “Ethnic parties” in the strict sense are almost completely absent, and only the Beninese party system is substantially “ethnicized.” In particular, regional ties between voters and leaders—rather than ethnic affiliation alone—deserve attention in the future study of voting behavior in Africa.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Christian von Soest
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Botswana appears to be an exception. Scholars recurrently describe the country as a “deviant” (Charlton 1990: 137-138; Kloeden et al. 2004: 53) or a “special case” (Hansohm 2001: 294) compared to the rest of Africa. A plethora of studies have been conducted on the political and economic development of the country, all stressing its “exceptionality.” Some even term Botswana the “African miracle” (Samatar 1999). The country is seen as a heaven of prosperity and stability in a region full of economic and political misery.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Alexander Stroh
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: While much has been written about the special design of Rwanda's judiciary in order to handle the aftermath of the genocide in 1994, other institutional actions resulting from the 2003 constitution have rarely been addressed in research. However, the second (partial) parliamentary elections in September 2008 revealed some of the implications which the carefully designed electoral system has for Rwanda's political development. As a starting point, the paper emphasises the need to link the debates on institutional design in divided societies with elections in authoritarian regimes. Under different regime types, “institutional engineers” may pursue different goals. The paper concludes that in the case of Rwanda proportional representation (PR) has been implemented to support undemocratic goals. PR limits the local accountability of politicians in a political environment in which the government is not controlled by a democratic opposition. Thus, Rwanda's current PR system facilitates the maintenance of authoritarian power in the country, whereas small constituencies would establish closer links between the local populations and their representatives.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Marcus Alexander, Matthew Harding, Carlos Lamarche
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Does development lead to the establishment of more democratic institutions? The key to the puzzle, we argue, is the previously unrecognized fact that based on quantitative regime scores, countries over the past 50 years have clustered into two separate, very distinct, yet equally-common stages of political development—authoritarian states with low levels of freedom on one side an d democracies with liberal institutions on the other side of a bimodal distribution of political regimes. We develop a new empirical strategy—exploiting exogenous world economic factors and introducing new panel data estimators—that allows for the first time to estimate the effects of development as well as unobserved country effects in driving democracy at these different stages of political development. We find that income and education have the least effect on democracy when authoritarian regimes are consolidated and that only country effects, possibly accounting for institutional legacies, can lead to political development. Ironically, it is in highly democratic and wealthiest of nations that income and education start to play a role; however greater wealth and better educated citizenry can both help and hurt democracy depending again on what the country's institutional legacies are. Far from accepting the notion that much of the developing world is cursed by unchanging and poor long-run institutions, policy-makers should take note that with democratization we also see country-specific factors that in turn condition the difference income and education make for democracy.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Political Economy, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, China, Asia, Germany
  • Author: Dirk Kohnert, Heinz Jockers, Paul Nugent
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Ghana's 2008 elections have been hailed by national and international observers as a model for Africa. This perception has prevailed despite persistent concerns about “ethnic block voting” and electoral fraud. Electoral malpractice and vote rigging along ethnic lines in Ghana's virtual two‐party system could regain decisive importance as a “third force” that could tip the balance in future, possibly coming to represent an even more important factor than the smaller opposition parties. Unfortunate diplomatic and technocratic biases in election monitoring, combined with a reluctance on the part of the responsible authorities to investigate irregularities in what appears to be a long history of fraudulent “ethnic block voting”, amounts to a dangerous time bomb of unresolved conflict which could explode in future elections.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Elisabeth Lindenmayer, Josie Lianna Kaye
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The postelection violence that erupted in Kenya in December 2007 resulted in the deaths of over one thousand people and left three hundred thousand people displaced. While catastrophic, the scale of the social and economic destruction, not to mention the loss of life, could have been much greater were it not for the peace mediation mandated by the African Union in January 2008. The Panel of Eminent African Personalities, chaired by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, led the forty-one-day peace process, culminating in the Agreement on the Principles of Partnership of the Coalition Government, which was signed by President Mwai Kibaki and the Honorable Raila Odinga on February 28th, putting an end to the crisis which engulfed the nation and took the world by surprise.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Andreas Mehler
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the declining importance of political parties in the Central African Republic (CAR). It argues that the problematic attitude of elites who are fluctuating between violent and peaceful behavior in order to further their own careers is jeopardizing both peace and democracy. The author hypothesizes that both political parties and rebel movements are failing to adequately represent (ethnoregional) interests, but that parties are suffering more in the course of the enduring war and the peace process. Patterns of elite behavior are presented as the main explanation for the resulting crisis of representation, with international actors' preference for inclusionary power-sharing deals seen as the main aggravating factor.
  • Topic: Democratization, Armed Struggle, Insurgency, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Emmanuel Viret
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Dealing with the dynamics of rural violence under the multi-party transition (1991-1994), this paper suggests new points of view on the mobilization of Rwandan peasantry during the genocide (1994). Going through local archives and interviews held in the hills and in four prisons of the country, the analysis focuses on the increasing development of an economy of violence. The multi-party system incited competing rural elites to recruit a growing number of men and ruffians against other contenders in order to assure their access to power. Local elites (re)formed patron-client links previously dried by the spreading of money and wage incomes in the countryside. Particular attention is paid to the dimension of political entrepreneurship and to the relationship between social brokers and rural elites, in the course of the struggle between political parties as well as during the building of the Power coalitions which led the massacres locally.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Economics, Genocide
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Upon the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, The Carter Center observed the country's May 15, 2005, elections for the national and regional parliaments. The May elections marked an historic event in the country, as Ethiopia witnessed its first genuinely competitive campaign period with multiple parties fielding strong candidates. Unfortunately, what began with a comparatively open period of campaigning and an orderly voting process on election day was followed by flawed counting and tabulation processes in many areas; repeated incidents of serious postelection violence, including the killing of many dozens of people during electoral protests; a significant delay in finalizing election results; and an ineffective complaints review and investigation processes. In spite of the positive pre-election developments, therefore, The Carter Center concludes that the 2005 electoral process did not fulfill Ethiopia's obligations to ensure the exercise of political rights and freedoms necessary for genuinely democratic elections.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Le changement politique et économique réclamé par la population guinéenne au prix de près de 200 morts en janvier-février 2007 est largement compromis. Le limogeage du Premier ministre Lansana Kouyaté le 20 mai 2008 et son remplacement par Tidiane Souaré, un proche du président Lansana Conté, risque de compromettre l'ensemble du processus de réforme. Les déclarations apaisantes du nouveau chef de gou- vernement en faveur de l'inclusion et de la poursuite du « changement » ne doivent pas faire illusion. Le gouvernement Souaré-Conté a toutes les chances de remettre en cause les promesses d'élections législati- ves crédibles en décembre 2008, de compromettre le redressement économique du pays et d'enterrer la commission d'enquête indépendante qui doit identifier et poursuivre les auteurs de la répression sanglante de janvier 2007. Plus que jamais, les acteurs de la société civile, les responsables des partis politiques, les auto- rités religieuses et tous ceux qui souhaitent le chan- gement doivent opposer un front uni à la restauration du pouvoir sans partage de Lansana Conté.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Democratization, Government, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Rachid Tlemçani
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Algerians no longer live in fear of being killed by radical Islamists at faux barrages (makeshift roadblocks) or of being “disappeared” by “ninjas” — hooded police - men who break down front doors and take occupants away, never to return. This is a remarkable achievement in a country that during the 1990s was synonymous with horrendous violence perpetrated both by Islamist radicals and by security forces. Algeria has regained stability, with radical Islamism no longer a fundamental threat to security across the country. The virtual quarantine in which the country was confined during the mid-1990s has been lifted. It is also increasingly opening up to foreign investment. Algerians have enjoyed a period of peace and relative prosperity, despite occasional flare-ups of violence. During the presidency of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who took office in 1999, Algeria has transitioned from civil war, state failure, and moral decay to stability.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Civil War, Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: La Guinée-Bissau a besoin d'un Etat. Ses structures politiques et administratives ne lui permettent ni de contrôler son territoire, ni d'assurer les services publics minimums, ni de contrebalancer la domination politique de l'armée. Cette faiblesse structurelle est à l'origine de crises politiques récurrentes, de coups à répétition et de la prolifération de réseaux criminels. Cependant, la Guinée-Bissau semble être engagée aujourd'hui dans un nouvel élan grâce au pacte de stabilité politique signé par les trois partis politiques les plus importants en mars 2007. Le risque est réel de voir le pays devenir un narco-Etat et un no man's land politique et administratif, ouvert à tous les trafics et aux réseaux terroristes du Maghreb. La communauté internationale devrait d'urgence soutenir les efforts du gouvernement actuel pour consolider la démocratie, réformer le secteur de la sécurité et construire des structures étatiques viables.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Government, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: Because of the significance of Nigeria to the entire African continent, and because of growing concern that the United States had paid insufficient attention to the signs of growing tensions and instability within Nigeria on the lead-up to the 2007 national elections, a consortium of primarily Washington-based institutions (the Wilson Center, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Africa Program at John Hopkins' School for Advanced and International Studies, and the Council on Foreign Relations) organized a series of programs designed to engage both Nigerian and American policymakers in an examination of “The Pending Nigerian Elections: A Step Toward Democratic Consolidation or Descent into Chaos?” Three of these programs were held prior to the elections, and focused on “Nigeria's Political Outlook: The 2007 Elections and Beyond,” “The Niger Delta: Prospects for Elections and the Future Reform Agenda,” and “Nigeria: On the Eve of National Elections.” This paper reports on the fourth program, “A Post- Elections Assessment,” which was hosted by the Wilson Center.
  • Topic: Democratization, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Washington, Nigeria
  • Author: Sebastian Elischer
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of ethnicity in shaping the character of Kenya's political parties and its party system since 1992. Drawing on a constructivist conception of ethnicity, it uses a framework of comparison derived from Donald Horowitz and distinguishes between three party types: the mono-ethnic party, the multi-ethnic alliance type and the multi-ethnic integrative type. It shows that although Kenyan parties have increasingly incorporated diverse communities, they have consistently failed to bridge the country's dominant ethnic cleavages. Consequently, all of Kenya's significant parties represent ethnic coalitions of convenience and commitment and, thus, ethnic parties. The paper further states that the country's post-2007 political environment is a by-product of the omnipresence of this party type.
  • Topic: Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Matthias Basedau
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The institutionalization of political parties is said to be important for democratic development, but its measurement has remained a neglected area of research. We understand the institutionalization of political organizations as progress in four dimensions: roots in society, level of organization, autonomy, and coherence. On this basis we construct an Index of the Institutionalization of Parties (IIP), which we apply to 28 African political parties. The IIP uses extensive GIGA survey and fieldwork data. Initial results reveal a more differentiated degree of institutionalization than is commonly assumed. In addition to illustrating overall deficits in party institutionalization, the IIP highlights an astonishing variance between individual parties and—to a lesser extent—between national aggregates. Further research on party institutionalization remains necessary, particularly regarding its causes and consequences.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Matthias Basedau, Anika Becher
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Since the sweeping (re)introduction of multiparty systems in the early 1990s almost all sub-Saharan countries have introduced bans on ethnic or – in more general terms – particularistic parties. Such party bans have been neglected in research, and this paper engages in a preliminary analysis of their effects on democracy and peace. Theoretically, particularistic party bans can block particularisms from entering politics but also run the risk of forcing groups to resort to extra-legal or violent means. Neutral or context-dependent effects are also possible. Applying macro-qualitative comparison and bivariate statistics on the basis of a unique inventory of party bans and readily available indicators for the dependent variables, no simple connection can be detected. Rather, context conditions seem to be of superior explanatory power. We also find a systematic connection between party bans and variables that could be conceptualized as the causes of their implementation.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since the announcement of the contested presidential election results on 30 December 2007 giving a second term to Mwai Kibaki, Kenya has been in its worst political crisis since independence. Over 1,000 people have died and 300,000 have been displaced in violence with a serious ethnic character. As former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan conducts negotiations for a political settlement, calm has partly returned, but the situation remains highly volatile. To address the causes of the crisis, it will not be enough for the Annan team to broker a deal on the mechanics of a transitional arrangement between political opponents and schedule negotiations on a reform agenda. A sustainable settlement must address in detail a program of power sharing, constitutional and legal reform and economic policies that convinces the drivers of violence to disarm. For negotiations to succeed, the international community must enhance its pressure, including aid conditionality and threats and application of targeted sanctions against spoilers.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Briggs Bomba
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Policy Information Center
  • Abstract: The world's attention has been riveted in 2008, by election crises in Africa, first Kenya, and now Zimbabwe. In both cases, challenges remain in converting electoral victory to political power. Can a victorious opposition come to power in the face of an obstinate incumbent? This question is particularly relevant when the incumbent regime controls the coercive apparatus of the state and the opposition only has the ballot in its corner. In the battle of the ballot vs. the bullet, can there ever be a fair match?
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Political Economy, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Moses Owuor, Dong Nguyen, Anthony Kuria
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: In this report, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), an international, nonpartisan democracy development organization, presents its review of the Kenyan electoral process and makes recommendations for reform. The intent of this report is to have its findings presented to the Independent Review Committee (IREC) to consider in its examination of the electoral process, and the development of its recommendations for comprehensive measures to be taken to improve the conduct of future elections.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Paul Jackson, Peter Albrecht
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform
  • Abstract: The working paper series on Sierra Leone is part of the research programme 'Security System Transformation in Sierra Leone, 1997-2007'. These working papers present perspectives from both Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom regarding the implementation of activities broadly defined as security sector reform (SSR) in the period towards the end of and following the Sierra Leone war.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Development, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom
  • Author: Alfred Nelson-Williams
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform
  • Abstract: The working paper series on Sierra Leone is part of the research programme 'Security System Transformation in Sierra Leone, 1997-2007'. These working papers present perspectives from both Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom regarding the implementation of activities broadly defined as security sector reform (SSR) in the period towards the end of and following the Sierra Leone war.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Democratization, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Robert I. Rotberg
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Nigeria's vital importance for Africa's political development, for U.S. and European interests, and for world order cannot be exaggerated. Nigeria's sheer aggregate numbers—possibly as many as 150 million of the full continent's 800 million—and its proportionate weight in sub-Saharan Africa' s troubled affairs, make the country's continuing evolution from military dictatorship to stable, sustained democracy critical.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Nigeria
  • Author: Gero Erdmann, Mattias Basedau
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Starting from controversial findings about the relationship between party systems and the prospects of democratic consolidation, this article argues that problems can only be properly addressed on the basis of a differentiated typology of party systems. Contradictory research results do not pose an 'African puzzle' but can be explained by different and inadequate approaches. We argue that a modified version of Sartori's typology of party systems provides an appropriate method for classifying African party systems. Based on Sartori's framework, a preponderance of predominant and dominant party systems is identified. This can partly be explained by the prevailing authoritarian nature of many multiparty regimes in Africa as well as by the ethnic plurality of African societies. High ethnic fragmentation is not transformed into highly fragmented party systems. This phenomenon can be attributed to the most frequent 'ethnic congress party' which is based on an ethnic elite coalition.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Sierra Leone holds presidential and legislative elections in August 2007. President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, who won a landslide victory in 2002 at the end of the civil war, split the ruling Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) by anointing a successor, Vice President Solomon Berewa. When Charles Margai formed the People's Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), the break-up rejuvenated politics but also heightened tension in SLPP strongholds. The All People's Congress (APC), which gained in 2004 local elections, may be able to exploit this division. Return to a constituency-based voting system for parliament has reinforced the leverage of traditional chiefs in national politics and produced potentially vicious competition. Sierra Leone is still a fragile state in which peace will not be consolidated until two things happen. The elections must be violence-free and fair for results to be respected. Then the new authorities must deal with sources of discontent such as corruption, chiefs' abuse of power and youth unemployment, lest they threaten stability.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Nigeria's democracy is in crisis. The April 2007 elections were supposed to move the country to a higher rung on the democratisation ladder, create a more conducive environment to resolve its many internal conflicts and strengthen its credentials as a leading peacemaker, but instead generated serious new problems that may be pushing it further towards the status of a failed state. The declared winner, Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, assumed the presidency on 29 May with less legitimacy than any previously elected president and so with less capacity to moderate and resolve its violent domestic conflicts. He must act urgently to heal wounds, redress electoral injustice and punish the most grievous voting frauds, including those by officials of the agencies directly involved in administering the elections. To salvage his government's legitimacy, he needs to pursue policies of inclusiveness and restraint in relation to the opposition, accept the decisions of the tribunals (including the Supreme Court if need be) reviewing the petitions of defeated candidates, and embark on a vigorous electoral reform program.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Nigeria's democracy faces a crucial test. Presidential, parliamentary and state gubernatorial and assembly elections scheduled for 14 and 21 April 2007 are not a routine quadrennial ritual. Success would offer the country the first opportunity to achieve a genuine constitutional succession from one civilian administration to another since independence in 1960, thus consolidating democracy. Failure could provoke violent rejection of the results by wide sections of the populace, denial of legitimacy and authority to the new government, intensification of the insurgency in the Niger Delta and its possible extension to other areas, with potential for wider West African destabilisation. The preparatory phases have indicated failings in terms of basic fairness for the opposition, transparency and respect for the rule of law. Unless stakeholders make urgent efforts to rescue the credibility of the process, Nigeria's already serious internal instability could be fatally aggravated.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Lahra Smith
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Assistant professor at Georgetown University, where she teaches courses on African politics, civil society and democracy in Africa, and peace and conflict in East Africa. The pardon and release of thirty-eight political detainees, mostly from the leadership of the main opposition party, may give impetus to political negotiations in Ethiopia after more than two years' crisis and stalemate. Contentious and previously unresolved national issues, such as land and economic development; the institutional and constitutional structure of the Ethiopian state; and the best way to ensure equality of ethnic and religious communities, were brought to the fore during the past election cycle. However, after the election, much- needed national dialogue on these matters ended. It must be reinvigorated now that the political opposition's leaders have been freed. Citizen discontent has grown with the caretaker administration in Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa and repressive local administrations. Elections for city and local government must be held. Further delays will undermine any democratic progress. The current Parliament includes members of several opposition political parties, though not the leaders who were imprisoned. Both the ruling party and the main opposition parties should make as many visible and meaningful concessions as possible to their political opponents. Ethiopia's military intervention in Somalia in December 2006, its ongoing military presence in that conflict, and its unchanged, tense border stalemate with Eritrea have contributed to growing violence in the Horn of Africa and stymied domestic democratization.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, East Africa
  • Author: Jibrin Ibrahim
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In Nigeria 2007 will mark the first time a third consecutive presidential election will take place and the first time one elected leader will succeed another. Many observers fear, however, that the upcoming elections, like so many previous ones, will be marred by electoral fraud and rigging. Because of the country 's history of electoral fraud, elections often have been associated with political tension, crisis, and even violence. The road map for the 2007 elections appears to be in jeopardy. The National Assembly has not reviewed the constitution to give real autonomy to the electoral commission. In addition, preparations such as registration of voters and issuance of voter identity cards still have not been completed. The major political parties are intensifying internal wrangling and elimination of rivals. The president and vice president are exchanging acrimonious allegations of corruption, further raising political tension in the country. Interethnic and regional tensions and conflicts also are increasing. Southern politicians are exerting pressure to retain power, while northern politicians insist that a long-standing pact says power should revert to their region. Over the past fifteen years, political tension has risen significantly in the petroleum-rich Niger Delta. Insurgency has spread and ethnic and youth militias have emerged. The state has lost the capacity to exercise authority effectively. The international community has played a major role in Nigerian elections since 1999, especially in monitoring activities. It is important that this help include effective monitoring of the whole election process. While the integrity of the elections can be protected effectively only by a vigilant citizenry, the international community has an important supporting role. In May 2006 the National Assembly threw out constitutional reform proposals designed to allow President Olusegun Obasanjo a third term in office. As soon as he began his second term in 2003, it was evident that plans were afoot to prolong his rule beyond the constitutionally determined tenure. The fact that he was stopped in his tracks gives hope that Nigerians will continue to struggle for democracy. A new consciousness is rising in the country that people must organize to defend their franchise. If a plan for a programmed failure of the 2007 elections does exist, chances are that Nigerians will combat it and try to salvage the elections. Observers are waiting to see if they can succeed.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: This report documents the opinions of the Nigerian people at an important time in their country's history—just before and after the historic elections that resulted in Nigeria's first ever hand over in power between one elected civilian ruler to another elected civilian. Overall, Nigerians show optimism in their society, the institutions that comprise it, and the future direction in which newly elected leaders will take them. At the same time, many show caution toward and disappointment in some aspects of government, especially when evaluating the conduct of the recent elections. Here is a summary of the key findings of IFES' pre- and post- election surveys. A more detailed examination of the results will follow in the subsequent sections.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Liberians went to the polls in great numbers on October 11 and November 8, 2005, to elect a president, vice president, 30 senators, and 64 representatives. In these first elections since the end of 14 years of civil war, voters across the country demonstrated their commitment to peace and democratic governance. Both elections were widely praised as violence-free, orderly, and well-administered. Throughout the electoral process, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and The Carter Center sought to demonstrate international support for Liberia's democratic process and to provide Liberians and the international community with an impartial and accurate assessment of the electoral process and the political environment surrounding it.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil Society, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • Author: Michele Dunne
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The political opening that began in late 2004 in Egypt has been unlike any seen in the country in at least twenty years, perhaps in a half century. It has resulted so far in Egypt holding its first-ever presidential election as well as parliamentary elections that were significantly fairer and more transparent than in the past, although marred by violence. Political dissidents are making bolder demands, most of the taboos on criticizing the regime have been swept away, and there is now more opposition representation in Parliament than at any time since the 1952 Free Officers' coup. The Muslim Brotherhood, an illegal organization but also the only effective opposition party, made dramatic gains in the fall 2005 elections. Yet many observers inside and outside Egypt view the political reform steps made in 2004 and 2005 as no more than cosmetic measures taken to preserve rather than change an essentially authoritarian order. Has Egypt entered an era of irreversible momentum toward democratization, or is it merely undergoing a brief liberal episode that will not fundamentally change the way political power is exercised?
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since the new, democratically elected government came to power in September 2005, the first since 1993, there has been marked deterioration in Burundi's political climate. Led by the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), the government has arrested critics, moved to muzzle the press, committed human rights abuses and tightened its control over the economy. Unless it reverses this authoritarian course, it risks triggering violent unrest and losing the gains of the peace process. The international community needs to monitor the government's performance, encouraging it to adopt a more inclusive approach and remain engaged even after UN troops depart in December 2006.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, Burundi
  • Author: Robert Pringle
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Since the 1991 uprising, which saw the ouster of the country's long-standing military dictator and ushered in a democratically elected government, Mali has achieved a record of democratization that is among the best in Africa. This process has been driven by multiple factors. External observers often point to broader Africa-wide change and a remarkable constellation of “founding fathers” who demonstrated vision and self-sacrifice following the change of government. But if you ask Malians why their country has successfully democratized, most of them will respond by stressing Mali's heritage of tolerance and decentralized government, dating back more than a millennium to the Ghana Empire and its two successor states. For Malians, democratization combined with decentralization is a homecoming rather than a venture into uncharted waters. But they recognize that the country's democratization process continues to be a difficult one, inevitably laced with controversy. Although satisfaction levels remain generally high, there is a near-universal desire for more rapid progress toward improved quality of life. This unease suggests the possibility that despite their legendary patience, Malians may eventually lose hope and faith in democracy unless economic growth accelerates.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: The simultaneous presidential, governorate council and local council elections in 2006 made them the most technically complex ever held in Yemen. For the first time in the region, a head of state faced a credible opponent in a competitive electoral contest.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Yemen
  • Author: Joe Clark
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: An Introduction from Africa Program Director HowardWolpe and Canada Institute Director David Biette: In October of 2004, The Right Honorable Joe Clark, former prime minister of Canada and a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, led the Commonwealth Election Observation Mission to Cameroon. On April 29, 2005 he hosted “Election Observation Missions: Making Them Count,” a conference sponsored jointly by the Africa Program and the Canada Institute, which focused on the follow-up phase of international election observation. Conference participants were asked to consider how the role of international election observation missions might be strengthened, so as to serve as an effective practical means of promoting and advancing democracy. In this paper, Joe Clark, drawing on the contributions of conference participants, provides an overview of the debate on effective election observation missions.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Alex Vines, Nicholas Shaxson, Lisa Rimli
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Angola has undergone dramatic economic and political changes since independence from Portugal in 1975, and continues to face severe challenges three decades later. An open democratic process has not yet been established, the economy faces deep-rooted structural imbalances, and the country's international relations have undergone many shifts and changes, so that it is currently again in a major transitional era.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The 31 March 2005 parliamentary elections that confirmed the full control of President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF government were neither free nor fair and disappointed those who hoped they might mark a turn away from the crisis that has dominated Zimbabwe's political life for the past five years. The post-election situation looks deceptively familiar. In fact, Mugabe's era is coming to an end, both the ruling party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) face existential challenges, and the international community needs to urgently rethink strategies and find new ways to maintain pressure for a peaceful democratic transition.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Les élections générales au Burundi viennent de conduire à une transformation totale du paysage politique. La victoire remarquable de l ' ancienne rébellion du CNDD-FDD à tous les différents scrutins et l ' élection de son candidat à la présidentielle, Pierre Nkurunziza, le 19 août lui permettent dorénavant de contrôler les principales institutions du pouvoir. En outre ce changement politique important s ' inscrit dans un contexte où les corps de défense et de sécurité sont en profonde mutation et les anciens combattants du CNDD-FDD sont totalement intégrés dans ces nouvelles forces au sein desquelles ils occupent 40 pour cent des effectifs. Cela constitue une garantie substantielle contre d ' éventuelles tentatives de coup de force pour interrompre la poursuite de ce processus et donc la mise en oeuvre des réformes prévues par l ' accord d ' Arusha pour la paix et la réconciliation. Néanmoins les élections ne représentent qu ' un pas, certes important, vers une paix durable.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Burundi
  • Author: Alemayehu Geda, Abebe Shimeles
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In 1991 the Ethiopian Revolution Democratic Front (EPRDF) toppled the old 'socialist' regime that had ruled the country for seventeen years. In contrast to the previous policy regime of hard control, EPRDF initiated a wide range of reforms that covered not only the tax system but also the exchange rate, interest rates, trade, domestic production and distribution. This pa per attempts to explore the contribution of the tax reform, the change s in its structure and institutional reform in order to understand its role in raising revenue.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Keith Henderson
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to encourage open debate and reform action in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region on the need to create the legal and political enabling environment necessary to promote good governance, the Rule of Law and citizen participation. The paper notes that many of the defamation laws in the region still contain criminal penalties, including high fines and imprisonment, and that the threat and enforcement of these laws and policies leads to government censorship, self-censorship and sometimes imprisonment. These practices are now well understood as counter to international obligations and best practices as well as to the guarantees of a free media and free speech enshrined in most MENA Constitutions. The net result of these practices is a culture of secrecy that presents high barriers to sustainable economic and political reform. Collectively, this secrecy effectively muzzles open discussion and critical reform debate and makes the promotion of basic human rights and a good governance reform agenda virtually impossible.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Terrence Lyons
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: May 15, 2005 elections presented the Ethiopian people a remarkable opportunity to express their political views by participating in a poll that offered them a meaningful choice. In contrast to earlier elections in 1995 and 2000, opposition parties did not boycott but rather competed vigorously across the country. Opposition party mistrust of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), reports of intimidation and violence, and highly polarizing rhetoric raised concerns during the pre-election period but did not deter opposition parties from campaigning in nearly every constituency. Live, televised debates on matters of public policy, opposition party access to state-owned media, and huge, peaceful rallies in the final week of campaigning made it clear that these elections would represent a critical moment in Ethiopia's political development. The Ethiopian people recognized this opportunity and turned out in overwhelming numbers to vote, forcing some polling stations in Addis Ababa to stay open 24 hours to accommodate those in line.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Jesse Ribot
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: Ribot is a senior associate at the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington and currently a Wilson Center fellow working on a new book on rural democracy in Africa. Several years ago, he was writing a history of forestry in French West Africa, a story of a supposed deforestation crisis from 1880-1920. The colonial government had devised odd policies to fix this nonexistent problem—policies that would not have fixed it had there been a crisis. Furthermore, the policies concentrated access to lucrative resources in the hands of a few elites. "The discourse of 'deforestation crisis' was being used to expropriate the people's resources," Ribot said. "That was the real story."
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa, Washington
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Important changes in the outlook of Egyptian Islamic activism in recent years have opened up possibilities for progressive political development, but these have gone unexploited because of the conservatism of the Egyptian government's policies. The absence of serious violence since late 1997 strongly suggests that the strategy of armed struggle (jihad) against the state has not only failed but has effectively been abandoned. At the same time, the ideology of non-violent Islamic activism has evolved and now emphatically embraces democratic principles and elements of a modernist outlook. However, unless the Egyptian government changes its approach, opens up the political field and undertakes serious political reform, the frustration which many Egyptians feel could lead to a recrudescence of violent activism at some stage. The government risks realising too late that it has squandered a vital opportunity and wasted the fruits of its own earlier successes on the security front.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Islamism, terrorism, reform: the triangle formed by these three concepts and the complex and changeable realities to which they refer is at the centre of political debate in and about North Africa today. The role of Egyptian elements in the leadership of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organisation is well-known, if not necessarily well understood. The involvement of Maghrebis in terrorist networks in Europe -- whether linked to al-Qaeda or not -- has recently been underlined by the suspected involvement of Moroccans in the 11 March 2004 attack in Madrid. Egypt itself has endured years of terrorist violence; few if any countries have suffered as much from terrorism as Algeria has over the last twelve years; and the bombings in Casablanca on 16 May 2003 suggest that Morocco is not immune.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Algeria, North Africa, Egypt, Morocco
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: For all the sound and fury of international condemnation and domestic opposition, octogenarian President Robert Mugabe maintains the upper hand in Zimbabwe. He has bludgeoned opposition parties and neutralised mass action strategies, minimised African criticism, maintained South Africa's friendship, and withstood sporadic pressure from the wider international community. It has been a masterful performance. It is also one that has done massive damage to Zimbabwe's economy, which is shrinking at world record speed. It is time to acknowledge the collective failure to date, re- evaluate strategies for resolving the crisis, and concentrate on the opportunity presented by the March 2005 parliamentary elections.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Emmanuel Kasimbazi
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This study uses Income Tax and Graduated Personal Tax to illustrate how taxpayers' rights and obligations are enforced. Existing literature on tax reform points to the fact that consideration of the rights and obligations of the taxpayers is central to the overall tax reform strategy. In fact, reform processes that do not effectively consider the rights of taxpayers will alienate and create discontent among the citizens. In the last few years, Uganda has taken keen steps to effectively reform its tax legal regime.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Jeffrey Isima
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform
  • Abstract: Located within one of the most volatile, conflict-ridden, drought-prone and poorest regions of Africa –– the Horn of Africa –– the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is currently faced with a daunting challenge of transforming its political and economic systems for sustainable development.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia