By Anja Osei
Parties in Africa are frequently defined as organisationally and programmatically vulnerable. nevertheless, they mobilise gigantic numbers of citizens at election time. This contradiction provokes an engaging query: How do political events in Africa relate to the society? How do they mobilise their electorate and sympathisers, and which concepts do they employ?
Anja Osei analyses how events in Ghana and Senegal adapt to their neighborhood context via using in the community embedded strategies.
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Extra info for Party-Voter Linkage in Africa: Ghana and Senegal in Comparative Perspective
Surely, since the writings of Said, there has been a growing willingness among area-specialists to critical self-reflection, but we still lack a communication between specialists of the different area studies and an integration of their expertise into the academic disciplines of political science, sociology, history and others. 25 Harrison (2004: 15-16) mentions some key factors which are common to all African states: the origin of contemporary states lie in the brutal colonial project; African states engage with global markets primarily as commodity exporters; postcolonial elites were derived from a small collection of social groups close to the colonial state; African countries are substantially agrarian societies; and all African states have undergone structural adjustment programs.
In 2008, the number of ‘free’ cases has risen to 11, while the number of ‘not free’ countries has halved from 30 to 15 cases. Figure 3: Freedom House Ratings for Africa, Selected Years. org). 16 Freedom House is a US-based NGO. The annual report “Freedom in the World” measures political rights and civil liberties and assigns a numerical rating from 1 to 7 to each country. A rating of 1 indicates the highest degree of freedom and 7 the lowest level of freedom. According to these ratings, countries are classified as “free”, “partly free”, or “not free”.
According to these ratings, countries are classified as “free”, “partly free”, or “not free”. 36 Conceptual Problems of Party Research in Africa Yet, Freedom House reveals another striking development: Although almost all African countries hold multiparty elections, the majority are still only ‘partly free’. In these cases, authoritarian, non-democratic practices coexist with formally democratic procedures. For example, many countries hold regular and even free and fair elections, but certain civil liberties are severely limited.