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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: Emmanuel O. Ojo
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This paper is an attempt to consider the role of the military in Nigeria's democratic transitions. The paper has one major thrust – an in-depth analysis of military role in democratic transitions in Nigeria - the fundamental question, however, is: can the military ever be expected or assumed to play any major role in building democracy? The reality on the ground in Africa is that the military as an institution has never been completely immune from politics and the role of nation-building. However, whether they have been doing that perfectly or not is another question entirely which this paper shall address.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • 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
  • Author: Princeton N. Lyman, Jon Temin, Susan Stigant
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Ongoing negotiations to end the South Sudan crisis cannot simply return the country to the previous status quo. For lasting peace, the negotiating parties and mediators will need to reach beyond national political elites and those bearing arms and invite active involvement of the international community. South Sudan needs to build national cohesion and address fundamental issues of governance, democracy, and human rights. Restarting the stalled constitution-making process presents an opportunity to achieve these objectives. Following negotiations, a broad-based, inclusive, interim government that includes a degree of joint South Sudanese-international community administration and management should govern and ensure preparations for new elections.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Poverty, Power Politics, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • 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: Mamadou Diouf
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: This collection critically examines "tolerance," "secularism," and respect for religious "diversity" within a social and political system dominated by Sufi brotherhoods. Through a detailed analysis of Senegal's political economy, essays trace the genealogy and dynamic exchange among these concepts while investigating public spaces and political processes and their reciprocal engagement with the state, Sunni reformist and radical groups, and non-religious organizations. The anthology provides a rich and nuanced historical ethnography of the formation of Senegalese democracy, illuminating the complex trajectory of the Senegalese state and reflecting on similar postcolonial societies. Offering rare perspectives on the country's "successes" since liberation, the volume identifies the role of religion, gender, culture, ethnicity, globalization, politics, and migration in the reconfiguration of the state and society, and it makes an important contribution to democratization theory, Islamic studies, and African studies.
  • Topic: Democratization, Islam, Political Economy, History, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Senegal
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231162630
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Jean-Christophe Host
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: This Africa Policy Brief will look at the Kenyan elections of March 4th 2013 and examine what lessons can be learned from them. The argument that will be developed throughout this paper is that, although the violence was contained, the elections were not a success, because the drivers of conflict in Kenya remain untouched. The underlying reason being that the informal power of the political class still outweighs all the formal institutions and plans put in place. The ruling elite has acknowledged the drivers of conflict in Kenya for years but has shown very little interest in resolving them, because that could influence the drivers of their power.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Democratization, Governance
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Hans Hoebeke
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Mali, from model of democracy to a deep political, institutional crisis and war in the course of a few months. This policy brief offers an analysis of the Malian conflict looking into the national political dimension as well as the entire region where already present dynamics were reinforced by the Libyan war of 2011. It also looks into the regional and international response mechanisms.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Democratization, Islam, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, North Africa
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: On 4 March Kenyans will vote in highly anticipated elections. These elections will be Kenya's first since widespread violence following the December 2007 presidential election shocked the country and world. The 2007/8 violence lasted two months, during which time 1,133 Kenyans were killed, over 600,000 driven from their homes and more than 110,000 private properties were destroyed. The stakes during the upcoming elections are high and, while not inevitable, there is a serious risk of a recurrence of widespread violence.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil Society, Democratization, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Governance
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Puntland is the first of Somalia's federal units to attempt transition from clan-based representation to directly-elected government, but poor preparations and last-minute cancellation of local elections in July underline the challenges of reconciling competing clan interests with a democratic constitution. Cancellation pragmatically averted violence, but societal tensions remain unaddressed. The presidential vote by a clan-selected parliament in January 2014 will thus be fraught. Weak political and judicial institutions will struggle to mediate, risking involvement by partisan arms of the state. Direct elections are no panacea for reducing the conflict risks, but hard-won incremental progress on the constitution and local democratisation must not be abandoned. The cancelled ballot's lessons should be instructive for promised elections in the rest of Somalia. Better technical preparations matter, but Puntland's experience shows that donors and other international actors also need to be heedful of local political realities, including support of elites, robustness of institutions and viability of electoral districts.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Danielle Resnick
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: When, why and how has foreign aid facilitated, or hindered, democracy in recipient countries? Focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, this policy brief examines the impact of foreign aid on supporting transitions from one-party to multi-party regimes, preventing democratic breakdown and the erosion of civil liberties, enhancing vertical and horizontal accountability, and enabling competitive political party systems. Particular attention is given to the trade-offs and complementarities between different types of foreign aid, namely democracy assistance and economic development aid. Select policy recommendations are offered to improve aid effectiveness at bolstering democratic trajectories within the region.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Economics, Human Rights, Political Economy, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Macky Sall
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: This World Leaders Forum program features an address by His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: John Mahama
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: This World Leaders Forum program features an address by His Excellency John Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana, titled Reflections on the Challenges and Prospects of Democratic Consolidation in Africa, followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • 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: Mathurin C. Houngnikpo
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: A spate of military coups from 2008 to 2010 in Mauritania, Guinea, Niger, and Madagascar raised the specter of a return to military rule in Africa. While the subsequent resumption of civilian government in Guinea and Niger has reduced these concerns, evidence of military influence in politics remains widespread across the continent. This is prominently in view in Egypt where, in the midst of political transition, the military is attempting to maintain a privileged role for itself despite the widespread demands for genuine democratic reform.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Politics, Armed Forces
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt, Guinea, Mauritania
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Although the mayhem following the disputed December 2007 elections seemed an exception, violence has been a com­mon feature of Kenya's politics since the introduction of a multiparty system in 1991. Yet, the number of people killed and displaced following that disputed vote was unprecedented. To provide justice to the victims, combat pervasive political impunity and deter future violence, the International Criminal Court (ICC) brought two cases against six suspects who allegedly bore the greatest responsibility for the post-election violence. These cases have enormous political consequences for both the 2012 elections and the country's stability. During the course of the year, rulings and procedures will inevitably either lower or increase com­munal tensions. If the ICC process is to contribute to the deterrence of future political violence in Kenya, the court and its friends must explain its work and limitations better to the public. Furthermore, Kenya's government must complement that ICC process with a national process aimed at countering impunity and punishing ethnic hate speech and violence.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Government, International Law
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Despite marked improvements, numerous grievances that plunged Liberia into bloody wars from 1989 until President Charles Taylor left in August 2003 (originally for exile in Nigeria) remain evident: a polarised society and political system; corruption, nepotism and impunity; a dishevelled security sector; youth unemployment; and gaps and inconsistencies in the electoral law. The November 2011 election was the country's second successful postwar voting exercise but exposed its deep fault lines. The re-elected president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, needs to use her relatively weak mandate to focus on reconciling a divided nation.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Poverty, Natural Resources, Fragile/Failed State, Youth Culture, Governance, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Lori-Anne Théroux-Bénoni
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: After the November runoff of the 2010 presidential elections in Côte d'Ivoire, the country's Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced that in the preliminary results, Alassane Ouattara, candidate of the Rassemblement des Républicains, had won. The Constitutional Council cancelled the results from several northern electoral areas favourable to Ouattara, however, and declared Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent president who ran for La Majorité Présidentielle, the winner.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Dr. Cengi Günay
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The “January 25 Revolution” was not a classic revolution. President Mubarak's fall did not entail the overthrow of the regime, neither alter the elites or destroy their institutions, nor reverse the social situation. Although power structures and economic patterns were not removed, Mubarak's fall set an end to exclusive authoritarian despotism and initiated a process of power sharing; a so called passive revolution characterised by the absorption of the “enemies' elites” into the system. From this perspective, legalisation has been only a further step in the Islamists' long and rocky road of integration through moderation. Initially based on tactical considerations, shifts in methods and behaviour usually also evoke a shift in emphasis from ideological conceptions to political pragmatism. The absorption of the Islamist elites supported a process of embourgeoisement and de-­â€ ideologization. This did not entail a departure from Islamic tenets, but rather from ideological conceptions which seemed more and more unrealistic in a globalized world. The integration of de-­â€radicalised and moderated socially conservative Islamist groups with market economy and parliamentary democracy promises not only the prevention of political and economic turmoil, but also guarantees the reinforcement of the existing patterns of domination.
  • Topic: Democratization, Islam, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who had not been seen in public for several months, was announced on 20 August 2012 by Ethiopian state television. The passing of the man who has been Ethiopia's epicentre for 21 years will have profound national and regional consequences. Meles engineered one-party rule in effect for the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and his Tigrayan inner circle, with the complicity of other ethnic elites that were co-opted into the ruling alliance, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). The Front promised freedom, democracy and ethnic devolution but is highly centralised, tightly controls the economy and suppresses political, social, ethnic and religious liberties. In recent years, Meles had relied ever more on repression to quell growing dissent. His successor will lead a weaker regime that struggles to manage increasing unrest unless it truly implements ethnic federalism and institutes fundamental governance reform. The international community should seek to influence the transition actively because it has a major interest in the country's stability.
  • Topic: Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: John Campbell
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: As Zimbabwe moves closer to elections, the prospect for political violence, even civil war, grows. President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are wrangling over a new constitution and the timing of upcoming elections. The eighty-eight-year-old Mugabe is suffering from cancer and wants elections soon to ensure his "liberation" legacy. At the same time, Mugabe-allied military factions, flush with off-the-books cash from Marange diamonds mined in the eastern part of the country, are mobilizing to stay in power when Mugabe dies. Political murder is on the upswing and Zimbabwe is as tense and divided now as it was during the run-up to the violent 2008 elections.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Corruption, Democratization, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, South Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: Presented by Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • 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