New book examines democracy in Africa

A wave of democratization swept over the African continent in the 1990s. Has it made a difference in the welfare of individuals in sub-Saharan African nations? And why hasn’t the shift to multiparty elections led to profound change in African governance, given the region’s rapidly changing economics and urbanization?

In the first comprehensive comparative analysis of African elections in the last quarter century, Cornell political scientist Nicolas van de Walle and co-author Jaimie Bleck, M.A. ’08, Ph.D. ’11, offer in-depth answers in “Electoral Politics in Africa Since 1990: Continuity in Change.”

They describe a continent with a “paradoxical combination of change and continuity” in which almost all of the region’s 49 countries have institutionalized multiparty…

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