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AfricaThis book is a path-breaking and much-needed study of the role of elections in Africa.
— Nic Cheeseman
This volume studies elections as a core institution of liberal democracy in the context of newly democratizing countries. Political scientist Staffan I. Lindberg gathers data from every nationally contested election in Africa from 1989 to 2003, covering 232 elections in 44 countries. He argues that democratizing nations learn to become democratic through repeated democratic behavior, even if their elections are often flawed.
Refuting a number of established hypotheses, Lindberg finds no general negative trend in either the frequency or the quality of African elections. Rather, elections in Africa, based on his findings, are more than just the goal of a transition toward democracy or merely a formal procedure. The inception of multiparty elections usually initiates liberalization, and repeated electoral activities create incentives for political actors, fostering the expansion and deepening of democratic values. In addition to improving the democratic qualities of political regimes, a sequence of elections tends to expand and solidify de facto civil liberties in society.
Drawing on a wealth of data, Lindberg makes the case that repetitive elections are an important causal factor in the development of democracy. He thus extends Rustow's (1970) theory that democratic behavior produces democratic values.
Johns Hopkins University Press
— Nic Cheeseman
— Heather Deegan
— Arthur Abraham
— James R. Scarritt
— John R. Heilbrunn
— Matthias Basedau
— Gero Erdmann
— Gero Erdmann
An important contribution to the study of African politics and democratization in general... Highly recommended.
A good and timely book on a very important topic... His prose highlights his expertise in Africa, the comparative literature on democratization, democratization in Africa, and methodology.
— Peter Burnell
For the foreseeable future, this book will be the essential reference on African multiparty elections.
A rigorous investigation... This book makes a notable contribution to the study of electoral politics, democratisation theory and the study of African politics.
Lindberg contributes a serious study that has significant heuristic value and will encourage a testing and retesting of its hypotheses and theoretical premises.
This book is an original, important, and in many ways impressive study that will make a contribution to both electoral and Africanist scholarship.
This book is a path-breaking and much-needed study of the role of elections in Africa.
Lindberg has done a good job. Written with serious academic and methodological rigor, this book contributes to the discourse on comparative democratization in Africa.
Contains significant levels of data and analysis and will be a useful text for students and practitioners alike.
Draws far-reaching and well-based conclusions about the 'power of elections.'
Without doubt, this study provides a strong stimulus for future research, and this is precisely what excellent scientific work is meant to be.
|2||On democracy and elections||21|
|3||Elections in Africa over time||52|
|4||The self-reinforcing power of elections||71|
|5||The causal effects of elections||99|
|6||Democratization by elections?||119|
|7||Comparative perspectives and reflections||143|
|App. 1||Overview of elections in Africa, by year||163|
|App. 2||Changes in civil liberties rankings||166|
|App. 3||About the Freedom House Civil Liberties Index||171|
|App. 4||A data set on elections in Africa||174|