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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:Power calculations and political decentralisation in African post-conflict states
Authors:Aalen, LoviseISNI
Muriaas, Ragnhild Louise
Year:2017
Periodical:International Political Science Review (ISSN 0192-5121)
Volume:38
Issue:1
Pages:56-69
Language:English
Geographic terms:Angola
Ethiopia
South Africa
Subjects:decentralization
conflict
State
Link:http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0192512115615704
Abstract:Although many African governments introduced provisions for subnational elections in the early 1990s, there is variation in the extent to which these reforms were implemented and sustained. Our inductive analysis of three post-conflict cases - Angola, Ethiopia and South Africa - suggests that one factor explaining this variation is elite discontinuity when an insurgent group wins power in the aftermath of conflict. Systems of subnational elections adopted by new governments with an extensive social base derived from an insurgency, as in South Africa and Ethiopia, have proved relatively robust. By contrast, in Angola, where there was no change of executive power after the conflict ended, routinised subnational elections have not been implemented. The identified causal mechanism is that, for the new governments in the first two cases, subnational elections served as opportunities to mobilise party support and to consolidate control by sidelining local elites aligned with the previous regime.
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