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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Political opposition in Sub-Saharan Africa
Editors:Green, ElliottISNI
Söderström, JohannaISNI
Uddhammar, EmilISNI
City of publisher:London
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
East Africa
French West Africa
South Africa
Subjects:political opposition
political parties
civil society
Abstract:This book 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 room for political opposition in most cases is severely limited? Under what circumstances has the political opposition been able to establish itself in a legitimate role in African politics? To answer these questions the book 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 opposition can 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, opposition parties are lacking in organization and in institutionalization, 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. The chapters in the book were originally published in a special issue of the periodical 'Democratization', volume 18, issue 5 (October 2011). Contributions: Political opposition and democracy in sub-Saharan Africa - Emil Uddhammar, Elliott Green, Johanna Söderström; The ANC and power concentration in South Africa: does local democracy allow for power-sharing? - Ragnhild Louise Muriaas; Decentralization and political opposition in contemporary Africa: evidence from Sudan and Ethiopia - Elliott Green; Institutionalizing the pro-democracy movements: the case of Zambia's Movement for Multiparty Democracy - Lise Rakner; Opposition parties and local governance in contemporary Angola and Mozambique: mechanisms of exclusion and domination - Aslak Orre; Parties and issues in Francophone West Africa: towards a theory of non-mobilization - Jaimie Bleck, Nicolas van de Walle; Dissent and opposition among ex-combatants in Liberia - Johanna Söderström; Supporting the opposition or the ruling party: stark choices in East Africa - Emil Uddhammar; Effective opposition strategies: collective goods or clientelism? - Keith R. Weghorst, Staffan I. Lindberg. [ASC Leiden abstract]