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One-Party Dominance in African Democracies

Renske Doorenspleet and Lia Nijzink, editors
One-Party Dominance in African Democracies
ISBN: 978-1-58826-869-3
2013/257 pages/LC: 2013001382
"An important contribution to the comparative politics literature on parties and party systems."—Michele Kuenzi, Perspectives on Politics

"An admirable book.... With a thorough six-country analysis, it contributes to a practical as well as theoretical understanding of how new democracies are actually forming and functioning. It also sheds light on how the past legacies of nationalist movements, authoritarian parties, and democratic transitions shape current democratic practices."—Rachel Riedl, Northwestern University


Is the dominance of one political party a problem in an emerging democracy, or simply an expression of the will of the people? Why has one-party dominance endured in some African democracies and not in others? What are the mechanisms behind the varying party-system trajectories? Considering these questions, the authors of this collaborative work use a rigorous comparative research design and rich case material to greatly enhance our understanding of one of the key issues confronting emerging democracies in sub-Saharan Africa.


Renske Doorenspleet is associate professor in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Warwick. She is author of Democratic Transitions: Exploring the Structural Sources of the Fourth Wave. Lia Nijzink is conducting research on political accountability in Malawi and South Africa. Her recent publications include Accountable Government in Africa: Perspectives from Public Law and Political Studies.


  • One-Party Dominance in African Democracies: A Framework for Analysis—the Editors.
  • An Overview of African Party Systems—G. Erdmann and M. Basedau.
  • Namibia: Cultivating the Liberation Gospel—H. Melber.
  • South Africa: Racialized Discourse in the Context of Deteriorating Performance—T. Reddy.
  • Tanzania: Nurturing Legacies of the Past—M. Bakari and R. Whitehead.
  • Zambia: Manufactured One-Party Dominance and Its Collapse—N. Simutanyi.
  • Mali: From Dominant Party to Platform of Unity—M. van Vliet.
  • Senegal: The Rise and Fall of a One-Party-Dominant system—C. Hartmann.
  • Why One-Party Dominance Endures in Some Democracies but Not Others—the Editors.