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  • 1.
    Uddhammar, Emil
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences.
    Supporting the Opposition or the Ruling Party: Stark choices in East Africa2011In: Democratization, ISSN 1351-0347, E-ISSN 1743-890X, Vol. 18, no 5, p. 1168-1192Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Citizens of the three East African countries Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda differmuch in their expressed support for the political opposition and in their trust inthe ruling political institutions of the president, the electoral commission and theruling party. Citizens in Uganda and Kenya have becomemore sceptical towardstheir ruling institutions, while citizens in Tanzania are still very trusting andexpress much stronger deferential values than is the case in the other two countries, eventhough Tanzanians have experienced less of democratic changes.How can this difference be explained, and to what extent is democracy beinginstitutionalized in the three countries? Using Afrobarometer data it is shownthat democratic constitutional values are an important reason for supportingthe opposition in Kenya, but much less so in Uganda and Tanzania. In Kenya,democratic constitutional values are negatively related to support for theruling institutions, while in Tanzania, the same values strengthen support forthe government. A positive evaluation of democratic procedures andgovernment output explains much of the support for the ruling institutions,while a perceived high level of corruption and a low estimation of delivereddemocratic procedures lend support to the opposition. Kenya appears to havereached a more advanced democratic awareness than the other two countries.While some important democratic institutions have taken root in the threecountries, there is still a long way to go before the region has attained stable democracy.

  • 2.
    Uddhammar, Emil
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences.
    Green, Elliott
    Söderström, Johanna
    Political opposition and democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa2011In: Democratization, ISSN 1351-0347, E-ISSN 1743-890X, Vol. 18, no 5, p. 1057-1066Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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