CfP: Cadernos de Estudos Africanos – Thematic Issue
Three decades of elections in Africa: what have we learned about democracy?
Until May 31, 2019, a call is open for submission of articles to a thematic issue of the journal Cadernos de Estudos Africanos.
The editors of this issue are Edalina Rodrigues Sanches (Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal), José Jaime Macuane (Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique) and Chipo Dendere (Amherst College, Massachusetts, United States of America).
Call for papers:
Some three decades have passed since the inception of democratic experiments in Africa, and the study of elections remains both topical and vibrant. A dominant view in the literature suggests that multiparty elections had limited transformative impact in Africa. Instead of producing alternation in power and more democratic regimes, the successive rounds of elections led to the emergence of new types of nondemocratic government (electoral authoritarian, competitive authoritarian) and to the proliferation of dominant party systems, where the former authoritarian parties still hold a considerable share of votes/seats. World indexes place the continent as the worst in terms of electoral integrity due to persisting episodes of (pre-or-post) electoral violence, vote buying and fraud. Though all this reinforces the narrative that elections in Africa are but a “shadow of democracy” (Adejumobi 2000), it is also true that multiparty elections have become common place and in some cases gave birth to exemplar democracies (Cape Verde, Ghana or Mauritius, just to mention a few cases).
This special issue, entirely devoted to the study of recent elections in Africa, intends to understand what is behind stories of failure or success. While most contributions emphasize the procedural aspects of elections, the main goal here is to look at more substantive aspects that are often neglected. More specifically, we invite contributors to focus on the following (and other related) questions:
How do parties/candidates campaign?
How are policy issues framed?
What explains variations in vote patterns over time and across constituencies?
What is the role of institutions?
What is the role of electoral management bodies and Electoral Justice?
What are the effects of urbanization and new social media on electoral strategies and voting behavior?
What is the effect of liberation movement parties on elections?
What are the emerging trends in politics (e.g. populism, celebrity politicians)?
Given the nature of the questions raised, we are particularly interested in democratic contexts that encompass a range of political liberties and civil rights but also those mixed settings which have been labeled as competitive authoritarian (Levitsky & Way 2010) or as hybrid (Diamond 2002). The articles should be explicit in terms of questions and goals and on what empirical material will be used.
Contributions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with the subject “Three decades of elections in Africa: what have we learned about democracy?’” until 31 May 2019. Authors will be notified of the article acceptance until 30 June 2019.