In Sub-Saharan Africa, the spread of democracy since the 1990s has been accompanied by the proliferation of bans on ethnic political parties. A majority of constitutions in the region explicitly prohibit political parties to organize on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, region and other socio-cultural attributes. More than a hundred political parties have been dissolved, suspended or denied registration on these grounds. This book documents the experience with ethnic party bans in Africa, traces its origins, examines its record, and answers the question whether ethnic party bans are an effective and legitimate instrument in the prevention of ethnic conflict.
This book was published as a special issue of Democratization.
1. Ethnic party bans in Africa: an introduction 2. Party bans in Africa – an empirical overview 3. Understanding variations in party bans in Africa 4. An effective measure of institutional engineering? Ethnic party bans in Africa 5. Why there is no party ban in the South African constitution 6. Political party bans in Rwanda 1994–2003: three narratives of justification 7. Ethnic party bans and institutional engineering in Nigeria 8. Comparing ethnic party regulation in East Africa 9. Senegal’s party system: the limits of formal regulation
The journal, Democratization, emerged in 1994, during ‘the third wave of democracy’, a period which saw democratic transformation of dozens of regimes around the world. Over the last decade or so, the journal has published a number of special issues as books, each of which has focused upon cutting edge issues linked to democratization. Collectively, they underline the capacity of democratization to induce debate, uncertainty, and perhaps progress towards better forms of politics, focused on the achievement of the democratic aspirations of men and women everywhere.