Universiteit Leiden

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Democracy in Africa

  • Nic Cheeseman (Oxford University)
Tuesday 1 November 2016

About the lecture

Dr. Nic Cheeseman will talk about the findings of his recent book, Democracy in Africa, and its implications for the prospects democracy in Africa. This book provides the first comprehensive overview of the history of democracy in Africa and explains why the continent’s democratic experiments have so often failed and how they could succeed. In it, Dr. Cheeseman grapples with some of the most important questions facing Africa and democracy today, including whether international actors should try and promote democracy abroad, how to design political systems that manage ethnic diversity, and why democratic governments often make bad policy decisions. Beginning in the colonial period with the introduction of multi-party elections and ending in 2013 with the collapse of democracy in Mali and South Sudan, the book describes the rise of authoritarian states in the 1970s; the attempts of trade unions and some religious groups to check the abuse of power in the 1980s; the remarkable return of multiparty politics in the 1990s; and finally, the tragic tendency for elections to exacerbate corruption and violence. Copies of the book will be on sale at the event at a discounted rate.


About the speaker

Nic Cheeseman is Associate Professor of African Politics at Oxford University, the Founding Editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of African Politics, and a former editor of the journal African Affairs. He is also the co-editor of the collections Our Turn to Eat: Politics in Kenya Since 1950 (2010) and The Handbook of African Politics (2013). Dr Cheeseman also runs the popular www.democracyinafrica.org website, is a columnist for Kenya's Sunday Nation newspaper and is an advisor to, and writer for, Kofi Annan's African Progress Panel.

Register now.

About the seminars:

Diplomacy and Global Affairs (DGA) Research Seminar Series

The Diplomacy and Global Affairs (DGA) Research Seminar is a series launched by the Research Group on Diplomacy and Global Affairs at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs. The seminars of internationally acknowledged guest researchers and faculty members deal with current research topics in diplomacy, international relations, global affairs, and political economy broadly conceived and target a broad audience through their interdisciplinary focus.

For more information, please contact:

Prof. dr. M.O. Hosli (coordinator)

Dr. J.J. Kantorowicz

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