Anika Becher / Matthias Basedau

Promoting Peace and Democracy through Party Regulation? Ethnic Party Bans in Africa

GIGA Working Paper, No. 66, January 2008

Abstract
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.

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GIGA Authors

Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

Director of the GIGA Institute of African Affairs
Editor GIGA Focus Africa

Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau is director of the GIGA Institute of African Affairs and professor of political science at the University of Hamburg. His research focuses on political institutions and armed conflicts, as well as how both are linked to ethnicity, religion, and natural resources. He is also the regional coordinator for Central and West Africa within the framework of the Bertelsmann Transformation Index.

Recent Publications by the Authors

Matthias Basedau

Party Systems in Africa

in: Nic Cheeseman (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming

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Die ‚African Renaissance‘: Möglichkeiten für die deutsche und europäische Afrikapolitik

in: Metis (ed.), Metis-Perspektiven: Afrika – der aufsteigende Kontinent, Berlin und München: Metis, 2019, 6-10

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Book Review: Africanistan - Development or Jihad? by Serge Mihailof

Zeitschrift für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik, 2019

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Book Review: Africanistan - Development or Jihad? by Serge Mihailof

Africa Spectrum, 54, 2019, 2, 176-178

Matthias Basedau / Jonathan Fox / Christopher Huber / Arne Pieters / Tom Konzack / Mora Deitch

Introducing the "Religious Minorities at Risk" Dataset

Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, 25, 2019, 4