The cases of the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa and the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) in Zambia show major differences in the extent to which incoming ruling parties after a regime change build strong party systems. The ANC institutionalised a hegemonic party apparatus after coming to power, while the MMD did not. These differences, we contend, are related to the ANC’s history of a prolonged struggle that included violent conflict in contrast to the MMD’s peaceful pro-democracy campaign. Theorising this contrast provides a framework for investigating causes of different outcomes in party institutionalisation after regime change.

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