Alexander Stroh

The Consequences of Appointment Policies for Court Legitimacy in Benin: A Network Analysis Approach

GIGA Working Paper, No. 281, February 2016

The paper seeks to explain how courts in new and vulnerable democracies acquire legitimacy and thus become credible actors able to facilitate or even foster the consolidation of democracy. It analyses the case of the Constitutional Court of Benin (CCB), demonstrating that governmental appointment policies have had an important impact on the court’s legitimacy. This West African country is considered to have been continuously democratic since 1991, and the court was established by consensus during the transition. The findings suggest that perceptions of fair representation on the bench matter more for credibility than professional qualifications and the quality of adjudication. And contrary to the widespread narrative that African politics is basically shaped by ethnicity, short‐term political affiliations appear to matter more than communalistic representation. Network analysis using original social data on the major politicians and all 25 CCB judges since the court’s creation in 1993 provides the evidence for this argument. The paper ultimately argues that the appointment‐policy‐driven delegitimisation of an established and largely credible political arbiter can put democratic consolidation at risk. Ruling elites therefore play a major role in maintaining or eroding this consolidation.

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GIGA AutorInnen

Prof. Dr. Alexander Stroh ist Juniorprofessor für die Politik Afrikas und Entwicklungspolitik an der Universität Bayreuth und mit dem GIGA Institut für Afrika-Studien assoziiert.

Aktuelle Publikationen der AutorInnen

Christian von Soest / Alexander Stroh

Comparisons across World Regions: Managing Conceptual, Methodological, and Practical Challenges

in: Ariel I. Ahram / Patrick Köllner / Rudra Sil (eds.), Comparative Area Studies: Methodological Rationales and Cross-Regional Applications, New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 66-84

Mariana Llanos / Charlotte Heyl / Viola Lucas / Alexander Stroh / Cordula Tibi Weber

Ousted from the Bench? Judicial Departures in Consolidating Democracies

GIGA Working Paper, No. 300, April 2017

Mariana Llanos / Cordula Tibi Weber / Charlotte Heyl / Alexander Stroh

Informal interference in the judiciary in new democracies: a comparison of six African and Latin American cases

Democratization, 23, 2016, 7, 1236-1253

Alexander Stroh / Charlotte Heyl

Institutional Diffusion, Strategic Insurance and the Creation of West African Constitutional Courts

Comparative Politics, 47, 2015, 2, 169-187

Charlotte Heyl / Alexander Stroh

Verfassungsgerichte in Westafrika: unabhängige Krisenmanager?

GIGA Focus Afrika, 01/2014