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Completed research project

Title / Titel Democratic Transitions in West Africa: Political Elites, Civil Society and Institutions
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung This study is a joint research project between c2d and the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso that will bring together not only scholars from these two institutions but also outside experts on democratization and development. The core research component of this study is to compare and contrast six neighbouring West African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Togo) that embarked on almost identical trajectories of political reform in the early 1990s, but exhibited sharply divergent characteristics in terms of regime type by the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century. The empirical puzzle that animates this project is to try to explain this divergence. The study will focus on three main aspects of political transformation in the West African cases: 1) earlier legacies of colonial rule and authoritarianism that may have cast a shadow over subsequent developments; 2) the institutional dynamics of constitutional and political change; and 3) the informal features of the regimes that help determine the development and diversification of their economies and the distribution of resources. Apart from its substantive and problem oriented research agenda, it is anticipated that the findings of this project will be of significance to policy-makers and practitioners and will provide young West African scholars with access to global academic networks.
Publications / Publikationen Andreas Auer, Propos impertinents sur l’Etat et la société civile en Afrique contemporaine: un essai, in Mélanges Charles CADOUX, Aix-en-Provence 1999, 25-38.
Keywords / Suchbegriffe Democracy in West Africa, Transition, Civil society, Institutional Dynamics
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Professor Andreas Auer (Project Leader)
Professor Augustin Loada
Jonathan Wheatley, PhD
Fernando Mendez Mendez, PhD
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
SNF (Personen- und Projektförderung)
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Fasò
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Oct 2010 to Sep 2013