Data Portal

Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master's thesis
Title Engineering the immobilization of ethnic parties in Sub-Saharan Africa: The enforcement and effect of particularistic party bans
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Many developing democracies have attempted to systematically engineer the party system in order to help reduce the salience of particularistic identities. In Sub-Saharan Africa, government intervention in political party development has been often been concerned with countering the political mobilization of ethnic, racial, and/or religious identities. This concern has led at least 19 Sub-Saharan African nations to design legislation to ban political parties based on ethnicity, race, tribe, religion, region or any other particularistic identity. This paper employs two measures to determine the particularistic nature of parties and compares the results across countries with particularistic party bans which have been enforced, those with bans which have not been enforced and countries without a ban. The paper argues that particularistic party bans do not consistently accomplish their intended effects. However, it is clear that particularistic identities are not primordial and do indeed react to political forces. If particularistic party bans are executed with oppression, the results can be detrimental to reducing the salience of ethnicity. On the contrary, if particularistic party bans are enforced or employed in a fair-handed manner the effects may be beneficial to the consolidation of democracy in divided societies. More important are the political and social contexts of a nation which either reinforce non particularistic politics or undermine it.

Related studies