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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Political parties in Ghana: agents of democracy?
Author:Osei, AnjaISNI
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies (ISSN 0258-9001)
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:political parties
parliamentary representation
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02589001.2013.839227
Abstract:Political parties are generally thought of as agents of democracy that fulfill a range of functions, such as policy formulation, interest aggregation and articulation, social integration, and elite recruitment. However, given the weakness of many African parties, are they able to contribute positively to democracy? This article seeks to answer this question by using Ghana, one of Africa's most successful democracies, as a case study. It is found that parties in Ghana are comparatively strong and do indeed mobilize large numbers of voters. They even expose a degree of ideological competition and have successfully adapted their strategies to the local context. On the other hand, they expose serious weaknesses in the field of social integration and interest representation. Against this background it is argued that even in procedurally well-functioning democracies like Ghana, political parties can be instruments of elite competition that contribute to the exclusion of the poor from decision-making. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]