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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Senegal: State in stagnation or in stability?
Author:Debusk, SusannaISNI
Periodical:Démocraties africaines
Geographic term:Senegal
Subjects:institutional change
Parti Socialiste du Sénégal
Abstract:Senegal may be considered a de facto one-party State; the Socialist Party (Parti socialiste, PS) has ruled the country since independence and there are no indications that its power will terminate any time soon. On the other hand, the PS always faced some form of political opposition. Yet, despite the existence of formal mechanisms for change and political expression, it is nearly impossible to initiate a policy change from outside the ranks of the PS. In the end, an assessment of the relationship between the government (i.e. the PS) and its opposition renders a State in stagnation, characterized by a series of contradictions. This paper examines the political system in Senegal, the reasons for the endurance of the PS and the role of the opposition parties. It concludes that it would be a mistake to completely write off any potential for change. The PS still consults members of the opposition and gives them a hearing in important policy decisions. By creating an image of the PS as a party receptive to alternatives, the government gains a certain degree of political legitimacy. However, the future of the stagnated Senegalese State is uncertain. Bibliogr., ref.