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Political Institutions in Africa. The Quest for Democratic Accountability

Keywords: Political institutions, democratic accountability, democratisation, elections, parties, parliaments, the judiciary

Geographic keywords: Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa.

Client/funder: CMI-SIP

Start date: Jan 2003 (Completed)

Project staff: Lise Rakner (project leader)

The aim of this strategic institute programme is to take a new look at the processes of democratisation in Africa. To reach a deeper understanding of the obstacles and potentials of democratic consolidation on the continent the research programme analyses how, and under what conditions, political institutions in the region have evolved since the transition to multiparty rule. The research programme focuses on four central governance institutions: electoral administration; parliamentary- executive relations; political party development; and the role of the judiciary in Africa's new democracies.

In order to assess the impact of globalisation upon African institutional developments, a research co-operation is established between researchers from the Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen (CP) and the Chr. Michelsens Institute, Bergen (CMI). The programme includes the following core components:

  • Research programme
  • Competence building, including a teaching component and a recruiting component
  • Infrastructure, networking between CP and CMI, and between north and south through research collaboration, workshops and conferences.

As part of the research collaboration, a study of the 2001 general elections in Zambia was recentely completed (Nov-2002). A study of institutional developments and voter behaviour in the context of the 2004 general elections in Malawi was initiated May 2002(funded by NORAD). As part of the POLINAF research programme, an analysis of Africa's special institutions of restraint will commence in October 2003.

Main ongoing activities:

  • Elections and Political Processes in Zambia: the 2001 presidential and parliamental elections
  • Democratic accountability in the context of the 2004 general elections in Malawi
  • The democratic accountability function of independent institutions of restraint
  • Annual course for graduate students at the University of Bergen. (2000-2006)
  • Research collaboration, Department of Political Science and Administration, University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (L. Svåsand)

Link: /research/polinaf/

Last update: January 2007

Conselhos locais e institucionalização democrática em Moçambique: dinâmicas e desafios
(2012)
in Maputo: IESE

Conselhos locais e institucionalização democrática em Moçambique: dinâmicas e desafios
Forquilha, Salvador Cadete & Aslak Orre (2012)
in

Electoral mismanagement and post-election violence in Kenya: The Kriegler and Waki commissions of inquiry
Arne Tostensen (2009)
in Nordic Journal of Human Rights vol. 27 no. 4 pp. 427-451

Turnaround: The National Resistance Movement and the Re-introduction of a Multiparty System in Uganda
Sabiti Makara, Lise Rakner, Lars Svåsand (2007)
Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Working Paper WP 2007: 12) 18 pp p.

Fissions and Fusions, Foes and Friends
Lise Rakner, Lars Svåsand, Nixon S. Khembo (2007)
in Comparative Political Studies vol. 40 no. 9 pp. pp1112-1137

Government and Politics in Malawi
Nandini Patel and Lars Svåsand (Eds.) (2007)
Zomba, Malawi: Centre for Social Research (CSR) and Chr.Michelsen Institute (CMI) (Kachere Books 33) 420 p.

Parliamentary-Executive Relations in Malawi 1994-2004
Nandini Patel and Arne Tostensen (2006)
Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Working Paper WP 2006: 10) 18 p.

Understanding Patterns of Accountability in Tanzania. Revised Inception Report
Evelyn Dietche, Tim Kelsall, Siri Lange, Andrew Lawson, Donald Mmari, Lise Rakner and Vibeke Wang (2005)
Bergen/Oxford/Dar es Salaam: Chr. Michelsen Institute/Oxford Policy Management/REPOA - Research on Poverty Alleviation 65 p.

Understanding Patterns of Accountability in Tanzania. Component 3: Analysis of Values, Incentives and Power Relations in the Budget Allocation Process
Dr. Mmari, Geir Sundet and Hilde Selbervik (2005)
Bergen/Oxford/Dar es Salaam: Chr. Michelsen Institute/Oxford Policy Management/REPOA - Research on Poverty Alleviation 54 p.

Understanding Patterns of Accountability in Tanzania. Final Synthesis Report
Andrew Lawson and Lise Rakner (2005)
Bergen/Oxford/ Dar es Salaam: Chr. Michelsen Institute/Oxford Policy Management/ REPOA - Research on Poverty Alleviation 42 p.

Fissions and fusions, foes and friends: Party system re-structuring in Malawi in the 2004 general elections
Lise Rakner, Lars Svåsand (2005)
Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Working Paper WP 2005: 6)

Understanding Patterns of Accountability in Tanzania. Component 2: The Bottom-up Perspective. Final Report
Siri Lange, Tim Kelsall, Simeon Mesaki and Max Mmuya (2005)
Bergen/Oxford/Dar es Salaam: Chr. Michelsen Institute/Oxford Policy Management/REPOA - Research on Poverty Alleviation 119 p.

Accountability on the Move. The Parliament of Angola
Inge Amundsen, Cesaltina Abreu and Laurinda Hoygaard (2005)
Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Working Paper WP 2005: 11) 27 p.

The role of the judiciary in the 2004 general elections in Malawi
Siri Gloppen, Edge Kanyongolo (2004)
Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Working Paper WP 2004: 16) 32 p.

Poverty reduction strategy processes in Malawi and Zambia
Edgar Bwalya, Lise Rakner, Lars Svåsand, Arne Tostensen, Maxton Tsoka (2004)
Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Report R 2004: 8) 33 p. (Commissioned by NORAD)

From dominant to competitive party system: The Zambian experiences 1991-2001
Lise Rakner and Lars Svåsand (2004)
in Party Politics vol. 10 no. 1 pp. 49-68

The accountability function of the courts in Tanzania and Zambia
Siri Gloppen (2004)
in Siri Gloppen, Roberto Gargarella and Elin Skaar (eds.): Democratization and the judiciary. The accountability function of courts in new democracies. London: Frank Cass pp. 112-136

How To Assess the Political Role of the Courts
Siri Gloppen (2003)
in

The quality of electoral processes: Zambian election 1991-2001
Lise Rakner and Lars Svåsand (2003)
in African Social Research vol. 2000/2001 no. nos. 45/46 pp. 1-23

Political processes in the context of multilateral elections in Zambia . Part one. Special issue.
Lise Rakner et al., ed. (2003)
in African Social Research vol. 2000/ 2001 no. nos. 45/46 198 p.

Uncertainty as a strategy: Electoral processes in Zambia 1991-2001
Lise Rakner and Lars Svåsand (2003)
Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Working Paper WP 2003:13) 21 p.

Political and Economic Liberalisation in Zambia 1991-2001
Lise Rakner (2003)
Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute 235 p.

Responsiveness to the concerns of the poor and accountability to the commitments to poverty reduction
Siri Gloppen, Lise Rakner and Arne Tostensen (2003)
Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Working Paper WP 2003:9) 25 p.

Multiparty elections in Africa's new democracies
Lise Rakner and Lars Svåsand (2002)
Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Report R 2002:7) 34 p.

Business associations and growth coalitions in Sub-Saharan Africa
Lise Rakner, Deborah Bräutigam and Scott Taylor (2002)
in The Journal of Modern African Studies vol. 40 no. 4 pp. 519-547

Projects that are part of the programme

Electoral Mismanagement and Post-Election Violence in Kenya
Start: Jun. 2009 (Completed)
Keywords: elections, violence, ethnicity, human rights, Kenya
Geography: Kenya

Transition to what? African liberation- and pro-democracy movements' troubled democratic heritage
Start: Nov. 2008 (Completed)
Keywords: sub-saharan africa, liberation movements, democratic transitions, media, elections, political parties, the judiciary
Geography: Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Zimbabawe, Tanzania

Political instiutions in Africa: Zambia, Malawi and Uganda compared
Start: Jan. 2006 (Completed)
Keywords: Democratic institutionalisation, the judiciary, the parliament, political parties, electoral administration, elections.
Geography: Zambia, Uganda and Malawi

Reconstructing traditional authority - for whom? Political parties, state
Start: Aug. 2005 (Completed)
Keywords: Local government, political parties, democratisation
Geography: Angola and Mozambique

Understanding Patterns of Accountability in Tanzania
Start: Jan. 2005 (Completed)
Keywords: Accountability, budget processes, parliament, poverty
Geography: Tanzania

The 2006 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in Uganda: Institutional and Legal Context
Start: Oct. 2004 (Completed)
Keywords: Democratic accountability, elections, political parties, parliament, courts.
Geography: Uganda

The Political Economy of the Budget in Malawi
Start: Feb. 2004 (Completed)
Geography: Africa: Malawi.

The role of supreme audit institutions in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda
Start: Jan. 2004 (Completed)
Keywords: Budget, audit cycles, public financial management, supreme audit institutions, auditor generals, institutions of restraint, democratic accountability
Geography: Africa: Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda.

Checking the State: the Role of Special Institutions of Restraint
Start: Jan. 2004 (Completed)
Keywords: Democratic accountability, institutions of restraint, human rigths commissions, anti corruption agencies, auditor generals, electoral commissions, appointment commissions, the ombudsman.
Geography: Sub Saharan Africa

The institutional context of the 2004 general elections in Malawi
Start: Aug. 2003 (Completed)
Keywords: Democratisation Parliamentary-executive relations Political culture Electoral administration Political parties Judiciary Elections Electoral systems
Geography: Africa: Malawi.

Good Governance in Angola: Parliamentary Accountability and Control
Start: Jan. 2003 (Completed)
Keywords: Democratisation, parliaments, institutionalisation
Geography: Africa: Angola.

The participatory aspects of poverty reduction strategies in Malawi and Zambia
Start: Oct. 2002 (Completed)
Keywords: Poverty reduction Civil society Participation Policy-making
Geography: Africa: Malawi, Zambia.

Political developments and the 2001 general elections in Zambia
Start: Jan. 2001 (Completed)
Geography: Africa: Zambia.

Multiparty elections in Africa's new democracies
Start: Jan. 2001 (Completed)
Keywords: Elections, voting, political parties
Geography: Zambia

Selected publications

CMI
CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute)
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