Dr. Martin Acheampong

Research Fellow

Dr. Martin Acheampong

  • Short CV

    • Since 01/2022: Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute for African Affairs (IAA)

    • 2017 - 2022: Doctoral Fellow at the Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences (BAGSS) – University of Bamberg

    • 02/2020 - 11/2020: Field Research in Ghana and South Africa in the scope of the doctoral project “The Legislators’ dilemma”

    • 04/2018 - 03/2019: Lecturer, Chair of Comparative Politics - University of Bamberg

    • 2016 - 2017: Researcher, Transformation of Political (Dis-)Order: Institutions, Values and Peace at the German Development Institute (DIE), Bonn

    • 2016: Research Assistant at the German Development Institute (DIE), Bonn

    • Education: PhD in Political Science, University of Bamberg (The Legislators’ dilemma: (In-)Formal Institutions, External Patronage and the Local-Elite-Centeredness of Parliamentary Representation in Africa’s Emerging Democracies); M.A. Development and Governance, University of Duisburg-Essen; B.A. Political Science and Sociology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana

    Current Research

    • Democracy and Democratisation in Africa

    • (In-)Formal Political Institutions in Emerging Democracies

    • Political Representation

    • Parliaments in Africa

    • Personalization of Executive Power in Africa

    • Intra/inter-party competition

    Countries and Regions

    • Sub-Sahara Africa

    • Ghana

    • South Africa

    Dr. Martin Acheampong

    Research Fellow


    GIGA Working Papers | 01/2024

    Personnel, Institutions, and Power: Revisiting the Concept of Executive Personalisation

    Evidence shows a growing trend of chief executives personalising power in autocracies and democracies. Yet, scholarly focus remains siloed according to regime type. This Working Paper presents an overarching framework on the “Personalisation of Executive Power,” identifying the involved mechanisms.

    GIGA Focus Africa | 1/2024

    Ten Things to Watch in Africa in 2024

    Democracy will remain strained in Africa, with crucial elections in 2024. Conflict risks may arise alongside the further waning of Western influence. Economic growth will continue, but also structural socio-economic challenges too. Western policymakers should address migration and decarbonisation.

    Developing Country Studies | 02/2022

    Is Ghana’s Democracy Counterproductive to Development? Democratic Short-Termism and the Politics of Development Planning in Ghana

    Elected political elites in Ghana face the dilemma of winning the next election by pursuing voter-pleasing, short-term policy goals or embarking on long-term structural transformation with short-term electoral disadvantages. This article investigates how they respond to this dilemma. The analysis demonstrates that competitive elections and associational liberties affect the pursuit of long-term policy planning in Ghana. The incentive to implement or abandon long term plans is shaped by the rational calculations of the country’s political elites in response to the short-term preferences of electorates.

    Research Project | 15/01/2022 - 14/12/2024

    COVID-19 and Executive Personalization in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the MENA Region

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, political leaders reacted by containment measures that, next to combating the spread of the pandemic, also presented a window of opportunity to bolster executives’ personal grasp on power. Personalization of power has been particularly worrying in the Global South where constraints on the chief executives were often already weak prior to the pandemic. This project assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the personalization of executive power in 36 countries of the Global South.
    DFG, 2021-2024

    fluter. | Quote | 31/03/2022

    Make Ghana great again

    Conference | 04/09/2023 - 08/09/2023

    Personnel, Institutions, and Power: Revisiting the Concept of Political Personalization

    ECPR General Conference 2023, Charles University, Prague Organisers: European Consortium for Political Research Dr. Martin Acheampong (Speaker)

    Dr. Martin Acheampong presents his paper "Personnel, Institutions, and Power: Revisiting the Concept of Political Personalization" (co-authored with Dr. David Kühn, Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos, Dr. Thomas Richter and Dr. Esther Song) at the ECPR General Conference 2023 in Prague. Panel: "Personalisation and regime legitimacy in autocracies".


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