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South Africa: Optimising the Currency of Soft Power in the International Arena

"A conscious and consistent adherence to the currency of soft power could enable South Africa to push through a national, an African and a more humane global agenda of immense magnitude in the overall international arena. However, effective communic…

Lessons from Electoral Management and Processes in West Africa

"This paper summarises the observations and findings of a comparative study of the contribution of electoral commissions (ECs) to the strengthening of democracy in West Africa, carried out in 2009–2010. The study was conducted in six countries, …

Are South Africa's Youth Really a 'Ticking Time Bomb'?

"This paper reviews longitudinal survey data on South Africa’s political culture produced by the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (1994-1998) and Afrobarometer (2000-2011) and finds that while there are real problems with democratic citizen…

Basotho's less Supportive of Women's Political Leadership, Opposed to Traditional Chieftain Role

Basotho women still find it hard to attain leadership positions due to discriminatory cultural practices and laws. Support for women’s political leadership declined from 2012 to 2014, and even though two thirds of women say that women should have …

Are Malawian Adults Turning Pink? Exploring Public Opinion on Women's Political Leadership

This briefing paper explores the opinions of Malawian adults on women’s political leadership ability. Literature shows that voters tend to correlate specific personality traits with each gender, and during elections they may employ these stereotype…

Tribal Feelings are Increasing in Intensity

"About half of Zambians (50%) have strong feelings of belonging to their ethnic group (tribe) while at the same time feeling a part of Zambia. A small but growing number of Zambians place their tribal identity above national identity."

In Malawi, Women Lag in Political Participation; Support for Women's Leadership Declines

"Despite having been led by southern Africa’s first female president, Malawi has made little progress toward equal political participation by women, Afrobarometer’s most recent survey suggests. Women in Malawi remain less likely than men to engage i…

Gender in Namibia: Growing Support for Women's Leadership, Concerns About Violence

"Namibians express increasing levels of support for women in political leadership, but Namibian women continue to trail men slightly in their interest in public affairs and participation in civic action, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey.…

Deliberate Disengagement: How Education Decreases Political Participation in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes

"A large literature examining advanced and consolidating democracies suggests that education increases political participation. However, in electoral authoritarian regimes, educated voters may instead deliberately disengage. If education increases c…

Ethiopia: Ethnic Federalism and its Discontents

Excerpt: "The Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), led by its chairman and prime minister, Meles Zenawi, has radically reformed Ethiopia’s political system. The regime transformed the hitherto centralized state into the Feder…

Prospects of the SPLA/M's Transition into a Political Party in Sudan

"This paper argues that the predominant circumstances in Sudan are likely to prevent the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) from evolving into a political party. At present, the political class in the North has not reached a consensus …

The Evolution and Development of the New Patriotic Party in Ghana

"This paper examines the emergence and development of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government in the context of a broader examination of the roles of political parties within the Ghanaian political landscape. After describing the political a…

Political Liberalisation and Party Radicalisation in Algeria: The Case of the Islamic Front of Salvation

"Starting in the late 1980s the Algerian political system underwent important changes. In 1989 Algeria moved from a one-party system to multipartyism. The Islamic parties were the biggest beneficiaries of the country’s political liberalisation. The …

South Africa and the United States in a Post-Bush Era

As South Africa faced its own transition of national leadership, its leaders were tasked with dealing with a new administration in Washington, DC, following the United States' national elections due in November 2008.

Chapter XI (i.e. articles 73 & 74) of the United Nations Charter and a self governing Transkei

This paper deals with the question of Transkeian independence and if this territory will fall within Article 73 that deals with Non-Self-governing territories. The solution to this is however not easy to find and as Transkei is still dependend on So…

EISA Technical assessment team report Swaziland House of assembly election 19 September 2008

"This report sets forth the assessment of the EISA team to the Swaziland elections including the team’s observations and analysis of the electoral process from the pre-election phase and the polling phase to the tabulation and announcement of the el…

The Rhodesian Elections: April 1979

This analysis of the Rhodesian election which were held to elect seventy two black common roll members of parliament covers the election and constitution, and the voting procedure. Intimidation took place in the absence of peace and this had an infl…

Encouraging Political Participation in Africa The Potential of Social Media Platforms

"The ‘Arab Spring’ developments have led to debate as to whether an ‘African Spring’ facilitated through the use of social-media-based tools is possible. This report argues that social media have the potential to facilitate the active citizen polit…

Beyond the signature: Appraisal of the Zimbabwe Global Political Agreement (GPA) and Implications for Intervention

"This Policy and Practice Brief assesses the outcomes of the GPA, appraises the performance of the Government of National Unity and examines the implications of the Zimbabwe situation on sustainable peace in Southern Africa. It makes proposals and r…

Is Botswana advancing or regressing in its democracy?

"There is wide consensus among academics and political analysts that Botswana has been hailed as one of the “old democracies” in Africa, but that there have been reports of political wrangling in the country. Landsberg maintains that the southern Af…

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