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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Opposition Parties and Democratisation in Sub-Saharan Africa
Author:Lindberg, Staffan I.
Year:2006
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies
Volume:24
Issue:1
Period:January
Pages:123-138
Language:English
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:elections
opposition parties
political participation
democratization
Politics and Government
Links:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02589000500514943
http://ejournals.ebsco.com/direct.asp?ArticleID=4D46A4CC2810F57795BE
Abstract:Since the 1990s a number of States in Africa have become either electoral or fully liberal democracies. However, many are still run by electoral authoritarian regimes. This article analyses the role of opposition parties in institutionalizing democratic elections in electoral autocracies, and the effects of opposition choices on the transformation of electoral authoritarian regimes into democracies. Specifically it looks at the choices of opposition parties either to contest or boycott elections, and either to accept or reject the outcome of the polls. It analyses the effects of that behaviour on democratization, participation (voter turnout), competition (winner's share of the votes), legitimacy (acceptance of the outcome by losers, alternations in power) and regime survival. It builds on a data set consisting of 210 elections, 95 presidential and 125 parliamentary polls. The analysis suggests that by choosing to contest elections and accepting the outcome in electoral autocracies, opposition groups enhance the probability of a regime becoming democratic. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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