Since the sweeping (re)introduction of multiparty systems in the early 1990s almost all sub-Saharan countries have introduced bans on ethnic or – in more general terms – particularistic parties. Such party bans have been neglected in research, and this paper engages in a preliminary analysis of their effects on democracy and peace. Theoretically, particularistic party bans can block particularisms from entering politics but also run the risk of forcing groups to resort to extra-legal or violent means. Neutral or context-dependent effects are also possible. Applying macro-qualitative comparison and bivariate statistics on the basis of a unique inventory of party bans and readily available indicators for the dependent variables, no simple connection can be detected. Rather, context conditions seem to be of superior explanatory power. We also find a systematic connection between party bans and variables that could be conceptualized as the causes of their implementation.
in: Nic Cheeseman (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming
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