Ethnic Party Bans in Africa: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Ethnic Party Bans in Africa

1st Edition

Edited by Matthijs Bogaards, Matthias Basedau, Christof Hartmann


192 pages

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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.

Table of Contents

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

About the Editors

Matthijs Bogaards is professor of Political Science at Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany. In 2001 he was awarded the Frank Cass prize for the best article in volume 7 of Democratization (2000) and has a forthcoming article with the journal entitled ‘Where to Draw the Line? From Degree to Dichotomy in Measures of Democracy’. His primary research interests include democratization, electoral systems and divided societies.

Matthias Basedau is head of the research programme at the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies and deputy of the director at the GIGA Institute of African Affairs, Hamburg, Germany. He has published numerous articles related to African politics, including ‘Do Religious Factors impact armed conflict? Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa’, in Terrorism and Political Violence (2011), with Georg Strüver, Johannes Vüllers and Tim Wegenast.

Christof Hartmann is professor of Political Science at University Duisburg-Essen, Germany. His key research areas include local and regional politics and democratization in Africa, and elections in Asia and the Pacific. He has also advised on behalf of various political foundations and electoral commissions and is registered as an expert of the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division.

About the Series

Democratization Special Issues

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.

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