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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Elites and democracy in Ghana: a social network approach
Author:Osei, AnjaISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society (ISSN 1468-2621)
Geographic term:Ghana
social networks
External link:http://afraf.oxfordjournals.org/content/114/457/529.abstract
Abstract:This article presents new theoretical and empirical insights into democratization in Africa, using the typology developed by John Higley and Michael Burton to understand elite interaction in Ghana. Social network analysis (SNA) is used to test the main proposition of the Higley/Burton theory, namely that a 'liberal democracy is impossible without a consensually united elite'. Empirical evidence is provided from a unique data set that maps the interaction patterns between Members of Parliament elected to the Ghanaian legislature in 2012. The article shows that MPs in Ghana form a dense and strongly interconnected network bridging ethnic and party cleavages, and that MPs from different parties have developed a measure of trust in one another. These findings not only support Higley and Burton's claim that elite integration is conducive to stable democracy, but also point to new directions in African Studies by demonstrating the capacity of actor-centric approaches to explain processes of democratization in countries that lack the classic structural preconditions for consolidation. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]