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Political opposition and democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences.
2011 (English)In: Democratization, ISSN 1351-0347, E-ISSN 1743-890X, Vol. 18, no 5, 1057-1066 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This special issue takes a closer look at the role and meaning of political opposition for the development of democracy across sub-Saharan Africa.Why is it that the room for political opposition in most cases is severelylimited? Under what circumstances has the political opposition been able toestablish itself in a legitimate role in African politics? To answer thesequestions this special issue focuses on the institutional settings, the nature and dynamics within and between the political parties, and the relationship between the citizens and the political parties. It is found that regional devolution and federalist structures are areas where the political oppositioncan find room to organize and gain local power, as a supplement to influence at the central level. Important factors behind support for the opposition are a realistic appreciation of the level of democracy, dissatisfaction with corruption and pro-democratic values. Generally, however, opposition parties are lacking in organization and ininstitutionalization, as well as in their ability to find support in civil society and at promoting the issues that voters find most important. Overall, strong executive powers, unchecked by democratic institutions, in combination with deferential values and fear of conflict, undermine legitimate opposition activity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 18, no 5, 1057-1066 p.
Keyword [en]
democracy, opposition, institutions, development, Sub-Saharan Africa, parties, devolution
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Social Sciences, Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-14404DOI: 10.1080/13510347.2011.603466OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-14404DiVA: diva2:443975
Available from: 2011-09-27 Created: 2011-09-27 Last updated: 2015-05-26Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf