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No-Party Democracy? Ugandan Politics in Comparative Perspective

Giovanni Carbone
No-Party Democracy? Ugandan Politics in Comparative Perspective
ISBN: 978-1-58826-630-9
ISBN: 978-1-62637-117-0
2008/259 pages/LC: 2008009264
Related titles: Museveni's Uganda by Aili Mari Tripp and Decentralization in Uganda by Gina M.S. Lambright

"The first comprehensive empirical study of Museveni's rise to power using his no-party democratic dispensation.... A refreshing account.... Rich with comparative case studies from within and without Africa."—Ishmael I. Munene, Africa Today

"An original and important critique of Uganda under Museveni.... In each of [the] chapters there are new insights."—Ben Jones, Journal of Modern African Studies

"Carbone’s analysis of the construction, maintenance, and political impacts of a partyless system is a well-researched and cogently presented narrative."—Brett R. O’Bannon, Perspectives on Politics

"This fair and lively appraisal offers a comprehensive review of President Museveni's attempt to replace political parties in Uganda with a 'no party' system."—Oliver Furley, Coventry University.


Are political parties an essential element of democracy? Or can a no-party system constitute a viable democratic alternative? Giovanni Carbone examines the politics of Museveni’s Uganda to illustrate the achievements, contradictions, and limitations of participatory politics in the absence of partisan organizations.

At a time when multiparty reforms were sweeping the globe, Uganda opted for a controversial, no-party democratic model. The country’s politics over the past two decades thus provide the perfect opportunity for addressing the many questions—theoretical, empirical, and comparative—that the notion of a no-party system of elected government raises. Carbone’s analysis of how a no-party electoral regime actually works (or doesn’t) in Uganda fills a gap in both democracy studies and the study of African politics.


Giovanni Carbone is lecturer in political science in the Dipartimento di Studi Sociali e Politici of the Università degli Studi di Milano.


  • No-party Democracy
  • Building a No-Party State in Uganda.
  • The Political Economy of Support for the New Regime.
  • Museveni’s Political Trajectory.
  • The Movement: A Partisan Organization in Disguise.
  • The State of the Old Parties in a No-Party State.
  • The Electoral Politics of No-Partyism.
  • The Parliamentary Politics of No-Partyism.
  • The Demise of a Democratic Model.