Publications

Publications

Journal Articles: 

1. Party unity and presidential dominance: parliamentary development in the fourth republic of Ghana

Ghana
Publication type: Journal Articles
Date:  Tue, 2012-07-31
Year:  2012
Author(s):  Sarah Brierley
 
Description: 
Political power in contemporary sub-Saharan Africa is often portrayed as being highly informal and heavily personalised. The assumption that personalised politics is how 'Africa works' has led to the neglect of the study of Africa's formal institutions, including parliaments. This article assesses the position of the Parliament of Ghana under the Fourth Republic. It displays evidence suggesting that over successive parliamentary terms parliamentary committees became increasingly adept at handling legislation, and inputting into the policy process. It also shows that the parliament was increasingly able to oversee the implementation of legislation. Although the findings of hitherto undocumented progress represent a valuable nuance, the argument that the parliament became increasingly able to input into the legislative process says exactly that; while the parliament became increasingly capable of amending legislation rarely was this witnessed. The article argues that parliamentary development in Ghana has been a function of three interacting structural factors: the constitution; unified government since 1992; and political party unity. The strong partisan identities of legislators from the two major political parties – the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) – provide the executive with extra leverage to control the parliament. Throughout the Ghanaian parliament is juxtaposed with the Kenyan National Assembly. More substantially, the article seeks to force a revision of the dominant narrative that generalises African party systems as fluid and fragmented, and African political parties as lacking any recognisable internal cohesion or ideology. 
 
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2. Presidential and parliamentary elections in Malawi, May 2009
Malawi
 
Publication type: Journal Articles
Year:  2009
Author(s):  Kimberly Smiddy and Daniel J. Young
 
Description: 
On 19 May 2009, Malawi held its fourth multiparty presidential and parliamentary elections, which were hailed domestically and internationally as largely freend fair. As the presidential candidate of the newly formed Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika was re-elected, and, for the first time in Malawi’s multiparty era, a single party won a majority of seats in parliament. Because the majority party is also the president’s party, Malawi’s fourth term of democracy will begin with another first: a united executive and legislature.
 
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3. Parliaments and the enhancement of democracy on the African continent: An analysis of institutional capacity and public perceptions
 
Publication type: Journal Articles
Year:  2006
Author(s):  Lia Nijzink, Shaheen Mozaffar and Elisabete Azevedo
 
Description: 
Journal of Legislative Studies, 12(3-4): 311-335
While modern parliaments in Africa receive little attention in the scholarly literature, they are drawing considerable attention from the international donor community. Since the early 1990s, when many African countries resumed multi-party elections and democratic practices, legislative strengthening programmes have become an important part of international democracy assistance. Despite these programmes, our knowledge about Africa's current parliaments remains limited. They seem to be widely regarded as potential agents for democratic change but whether national legislatures are in fact enhancing the quality of democracy on the African continent is far from clear. This study discusses two important issues that lie at the heart of the democracy-enhancing potential of Africa's current parliaments: their institutional capacity and the way they are perceived by the citizens they represent. After a brief review of the existing literature on legislatures in Africa, the essay first considers whether they have the institutional capacity to fulfil a meaningful role and provides a detailed description of the autonomy of parliaments in 16 selected countries. It then turns to the way Africans perceive and evaluate their parliaments. Do citizens see their legislatures as valuable institutions? Finally, we discuss the implications of our findings for the prospects of African parliaments becoming agents of democratic change.
 
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Books and Chapters

1. Legislative Power in Emerging African Democracies
 
Benin Ghana Kenya Nigeria South Africa Uganda
Publication type: Books and Chapters
Year:  2009
Author(s):  Joel D. Barkan
 
Description: 
A puzzle underpins this groundbreaking study of legislative development in Africa: Why are variations in the extent of legislative authority and performance across the continent only partially related, if at all, to the overall level of democratization? And if democratization is not the prime determinant of legislative authority, what is? Exploring the constraints that have retarded the development and power of legislatures across Africa—and how members of some legislatures are breaking free of those constraints—the authors shed new light on the impact of the legislative branch on the political process in six emerging African democracies.
 
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ISBN:  978-1-58826-688-0
 
2. Kenya’s Tortuous Path to Successful Legislative Development
 
Publication type: Books and Chapters
Year:  2009
Author(s):  Joel D. Barkan and Fred Matiangi
 
Description: 
Chapter in Barkan, J.D. (Ed.). 2009. Legislative Power in Emerging African Democracies. Lynne Rienner Publishers.
 
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ISBN:  978-1-58826-688-0
 
3. Parliaments and the Enhancement of Democracy on the African Continent: An Analysis of Institutional Capacity and Public Perceptions
 
Publication type: Books and Chapters
Date:  Tue, 2009-10-13
Year:  2009
Author(s):  Lia Nijzink, Shaheen Mozaffar and Elisabete Azevedo
 
Description: 
Chapter in "Comparing and Classifying Legislatures " edited by David Arter.
 
Recent years have witnessed substantial work in the legislative studies field. But what do we know about legislatures today and are there clear criteria for comparing and classifying them? This is a new review of the state of our knowledge of parliament and tackles key questions: Do legislatures matter in legislative terms, and, if so, how much? What is the extent of the legislature's control of the legislative process. How can we classify legislatures on the basis of their relative legislative performance. Five measures of the policy power of parliaments are applied in the country/region chapters. This book was previously published as a special issue of the leading Journal of Legislative Studies. 
 
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ISBN:  978-0-415-56864-7
 
4. Parliament and the Electoral System: How Are South Africans Being Represented?
 
South Africa
Publication type: Books and Chapters
Year:  2005
Author(s):  Lia Nijzink and Jessica Piombo
 
Description: 
Chapter in Nijzink, L. and Piombo, J. (Eds.). 2005. Electoral politics in South Africa: Assessing the first democratic decade. New York, NY & Hampshire, English: Palgrave Macmillan. 64-86.
 
Later published by HSRC Press (2007).
 
Hyperlink: 
 
ISBN:  978-1-4039-7123-4
 

Country Reports

Botswana Country Report
 
Publication type: Country Reports
Date:  Fri, 2013-03-01
Year:  2013
Author(s):  Dr Kaelo Molefhe and Dr Bashi Mothusi
 
Senegal Country Report
 
Publication type: Country Reports
Year:  2012
Author(s):  Ismaila Fall
 
Description: 
Senegal is the westernmost country in Africa. Covering an area of ​​196,722 square kilometers, it has an estimated population of 12,171,265 people. It is a country whose long democratic tradition dates back to colonial times. Continuing to operate within the framework established by the 1958 French constitution, in 1960 independent Senegal carried on its democratic experience.
 
ALP Zimbabwe Country Report
 
Publication type: Country Reports
Date:  Mon, 2012-10-01
Year:  2012
Author(s):  John Makamure
 
Benin Country Report
 
Publication type: Country Reports
Date:  Sun, 2012-09-30
Year:  2012
Author(s):  Mathias Hounkpe and Shana Warren
 
Interim Burkina Faso Country Report
 
Publication type: Country Reports
Year:  2011
Author(s):  Augustin Loada
 
Description: 
Ce rapport est également disponible en français./This report is also available in French.
 
Following its independence in 1960, Burkina Faso has experienced six emergency and four constitutional periods of rule. The last period rule began on June 2, 1991, following the adoption of a new constitution. The constitution enshrines the pillars of the democratic process. Presidential elections (1991, 1998, 2005 and 2010), parliamentary elections (1992, 1997, 2002 and 2007) and municipal elections (1995, 2000 and 2006) are held regularly. The Constitution provides for a semi-presidential system modeled on the French Constitution of the Fifth Republic. However, this regime is characterized by an imbalance of power due to its presidential characteristic, which gives the executive clear supremacy over the other poles of state power such as the Parliament and the judiciary. Presidentialism in Burkina Faso is compounded by the nature of party system which is structured around an ultra dominant party, the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP).
 
Interim Mali Country Report
 
Publication type: Country Reports
Year:  2011
Author(s):  Moumouni Soumano
 
Description: 
Ce rapport est également disponible en français./This report is also available in French.
 
Institutional and political development in Mali has followed a tumultuous trajectory, including a period de facto one-party regime rule (1960-1968) with a parliament bound to the single party, and a period of rule (1968 - 1974) characterised by a concentration of legislative and executive power at the hands of a Military Committee for National Liberation (CMLN) which ruled the country by decree. The return to constitutional rule occurred in 1974, with the legalization of a single party and other institutions including the National Assembly with cadres of the single party as members. 
 
After twenty-three years of implementation of the 1974 Constitution, the people of Mali (in response to the outcome of the 1989 La Baule summit), rebelled against the single-party regime. The uprising led to a successful coup in March 1991. The leaders of the coup suspended the 1974 Constitution before proposing a new constitution. This Constitution was adopted by referendum in 1992 and is still in force. Introducing full democracy, the Transition Committee for the People’s Salvation (CTSP) laid the groundwork for the democratic process, characterized by a multiparty system, freedom of opinion and association, freedom of press and the organization of the first pluralist elections, leading to a constitutional referendum, the election of the President of the Republic and a parliament.
 
Nigeria Country Report
 
Publication type: Country Reports
Year:  2011
Author(s):  Peter M. Lewis
 
Description: 
  • Nigeria’s National Assembly has undergone a process of institutional development since the 1999 transition to electoral rule.
  • The Assembly has created a significant counterweight to the Executive in key areas, including term limits, electoral law and budgetary affairs.
  • Legislative oversight has provided an important element of government transparency.
  • Legislators provide some representation and services for constituents, though largely on a clientelist basis.
  • The Nigerian Assembly is not regulated by strong internal oversight or party discipline, and Members have considerable opportunity for personal gain.
  • The relative weakness of parties also allows for considerable legislative independence, since patronage and recruitment systems are unstable.
  • Constituents view legislators as distant and self-interested.
  • Reform elements within the Assembly are active, but limited and marginal.
  • Institutionalization and rent-seeking reflect a central tension in the Nigerian legislature: between the establishment of “rules” and competition for “rents.”
  • There are fruitful areas of engagement for donors, including professional development and technical assistance, support for internal oversight mechanisms, and cooperation with civil society organizations.

 

Kenya Country Report
 
Publication type: Country Reports
Year:  2010
Author(s):  Joel D. Barkan and Fred Matiangi
 
Description: 
Kenya’s National Assembly or “Parliament” is arguably one of the two most significant national legislatures on the African continent. It is the most independent in terms of the degree of formal and real autonomy it enjoys from the executive branch. It is also a popular body. In survey conducted by the Gallup organization in June 2008, 67 percent of Kenyans approved of the operations of the House (Gallup 2008).
 
Ghana Country Report
 
Publication type: Country Reports
Year:  2010
Author(s):  Sarah Brierley
 
Description: 
The Fourth Republic of Ghana was inaugurated on 7th January 1993, following eighteen years of military rule under the leadership of Flight Lt. J. J. Rawlings. The transition to multi-party democracy had been publicly approved by national referendum in 1992 in which the overwhelming majority of voters (93 percent) approved the new Constitution. Following a disputed introductory presidential election, won by the incumbent Rawlings with 58 percent of the national vote, the main opposition party pulled out of the parliamentary elections that followed. Aside from the electoral dispute, Ghana’s transition to multi-party democracy was smooth, and the opposition soon entered into a dialogue with the government under the supervision of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee. Since 1992 Ghana has made substantial democratic progress, holding progressively free and fair elections every four years, and witnessing two successful democratic alterations of power in 2000 and 2008.
 
Interim Lesotho Country Report
 
Publication type: Country Reports
Year:  2010
Author(s):  Tim Hughes
 
Namibia Country Report
 
Publication type: Country Reports
Year:  2009
Author(s):  Monica M.C. Koep
 
Description: 
Namibia gained its independence from apartheid South Africa on 21 March, 1990, after a long and protracted liberation struggle. In terms of United Nations Resolution 435, under a United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG), an internationally-supervised election (using the Proportional Representation [PR] system) for a Constituent Assembly took place in December 1989. This process produced a multi-party legislative body, tasked with drafting the supreme law for the new nation. The drafters rapidly produced a Constitution lauded for its vision and strongly-anchored basic freedoms and human rights. Eschewing further expenses and delays, the Constituent Assembly transformed itself into the nascent democracy’s first National Assembly (NA), consisting of 72 elected and six appointed Members of Parliament.
 
Mozambique Country Report
 
Publication type: Country Reports
Year:  2008
Author(s):  Elisabete Azevedo
 
Description: 
Mozambique made the transition to a multiparty regime in 1994 as a result of the peace agreement that ended the civil war in that country. FRELIMO, the former liberation movement has won all the Mozambican elections since 1994. FRELIMO has already witnessed a change in their leadership within the multiparty period, when Chissano did not run for a third term in 2004. The economic power in the country is held by members of the ruling party, including the current President, Armando Guebuza. The opposition is headed by RENAMO, which has faced minor internal divisions. RENAMO has been headed by Afonso Dhlakama since 1979. Dhlakama is known for his intolerance of internal criticism. Dhlakama and Chissano, as party leaders, managed to develop a relatively friendly relationship in the first years of the multiparty regime; however, this is not true of Dhlakama’s relationship with the current President.
 
Zambia Country Report
 
Publication type: Country Reports
Year:  2008
Author(s):  Shana Warren
 
Description: 
Zambia’s return to multi-party democracy in 1991 was one of the earliest of Africa’s third wave democratic transitions, ending twenty years of one-party rule under the United National Independence Party (UNIP). The former president, Kenneth Kaunda, consented to hold multi-party elections and accepted the results when he and his party lost the election. The founding elections brought the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) to power in Zambia, a position which it has subsequently maintained. The MMD government embarked on a program of rapid economic liberalization, privatizing nearly all of the stateowned enterprises in ten years. Most significantly, the division and sale of Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) to a variety of largely foreign-owned and run mining companies dramatically changed the political and economic landscape.
 

Conference Papers

Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association

1. Legislative Committees in Africa’s Emerging Democracies: Preliminary Findings from the African          Legislatures Project.
 
Publication type: Conference Paper
Year:  2011
Author(s):  Shaheen Mozaffar, Joel Barkan, and Robert Mattes
Conference:  Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association
 
 
2. Role Orientation of Cross-Pressured Legislators: Preliminary Findings from the African Legislatures    Project
 
Publication type: Conference Paper
Year:  2009
Author(s):  Shaheen Mozaffar, Joel Barkan, Robert Mattes, and Kimberly Smiddy
Conference:  Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association
 
3. Understanding Legislatures in Africa’s Emerging Democracies: A Preliminary Report from the African  Legislatures Project
 
Publication type: Conference Paper
Year:  2008
Author(s):  Shaheen Mozaffar, Joel Barkan, Robert Mattes, and Kimberly Smiddy
Conference:  Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association
 
4. Patterns of Executive-Legislative Relations in Africa’s Emerging Democracies
 
Publication type: Conference Papers
Year:  2006
Author(s):  Shaheen Mozaffar and Lia Nijzink
Conference:  Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association
 
African Legislature: Integrating Research and Policy
 
1. The Tanzanian Legislature: Assessing Organizational Resources and Capacity
 
Publication type: Conference Papers
Year:  2007
Author(s):  Baffour Agyeman-Duah
 
Description: 
Capable legislatures are crucial in creating an enabling environment for democratic growth and good governance in emerging African democracies. The legislature is the principal forum for communicating people‟s needs and the efficacy of the institution to check Executive power through oversight, ensure transparency and accountability in economic management, and formulate coherent laws that uphold human rights makes it a valuable instrument for promoting democracy and the rule of law. Fulfilling this mandate through the parliamentary processes, however, requires the legislature to possess some essential organizational and resource capacities. How capable are African legislatures in meeting this challenge?
 
Tanzania offers a good case study, having been acknowledged widely as one of Africa‟s promising democracies, and this paper seeks to probe the capacity of the country‟s legislature to meet the mandate. Before doing so, however, two notable structural peculiarities that encumber the legislature must be recognized. One derives from the unique political system of the "United Republic" that creates two political entities. A union of two former sovereign states, Tangayika and the island of Zanzibar, Tanzania‟s constitution recognizes the latter as semiautonomous with its own president, legislature, courts, etc. and some exclusive jurisdictions. Accordingly, the Union maintains two separate and distinct electoral commissions and voter registries, separate legislative bodies each with their own internal processes and rules, separate court systems with Zanzibar having its own system of khadis or Islamic courts, and different political landscapes, most notably a strongly polarized and engaged electorate supporting two opposing parties in Zanzibar and an essentially single party state on the Mainland.
 
Conference:  African Legislature: Integrating Research and Policy
 
2. The Quality of Democracy: An Analysis of the Mozambican Legislature Capacity and Responsiveness
 
Publication type: Conference Papers
Year:  2007
Author(s):  Carlos Shenga
 
Description: 
This study explores the quality of democracy by examining legislative capacity and performance in Mozambican case. The study finds very poor legislative capacity vis-à-vis executive and president. The entire state authority is concentrated in the president who is both head of state and of government. The president can dissolve the parliament if it censures the government program and the parliament can not hold the head of government accountable. It also find that even though the Mozambican legislature has formal structures to deal with issues of national interests, in practice, some of them are far away to be effective and to contribute for democracy. Regarding to legislative resources, I find that the Assembly of the Republic has very little financial and infrastructural resources in sense that there is no extension of parliament structure at provincial level, very few MPs are skilled and the skilled parliament staff in the committees and plenary are not being taken in advantage. Regarding to legislative performance, while public opinion perceive that MPs are far away from representing their communities and citizens in constituencies, they are more likely to perform well. However, the study found very low levels of democracy in Mozambique.
 
Conference:  African Legislature: Integrating Research and Policy
 
3. The case of the Ghanaian Parliament
 
Publication type: 
Conference Papers
Year:  2007
Author(s):  Regina Oforiwa Amanfo
 
Description: 
While Ghana’s democracy is often cited as one of the most functional in Africa, moving forward, organizational resources will continue to be a constraint to democratic consolidation. This paper will focus specifically on the Ghanaian Legislature and present the existing organizational resource deficits and how this lack of resources, both human and infrastructural, has hindered the efficient and effective performance of Ghana’s Parliament. In conclusion, this paper will assess the existing level of political will to address these shortcomings to enable the improved performance of the Parliament of Ghana.
 
Conference:  African Legislature: Integrating Research and Policy
 
4. The Parliament of Zimbabwe
 
Publication type: Conference Papers
Year:  2007
Author(s):  Hon. Michael Mataure
 
Description: 
Parliaments are, by convention and practice, institutions whose activities should complement the efforts of the Executive in the governance of a country. This relationship should be synergistic in an ideal setting notwithstanding the unique role of Parliament to exercise oversight over the Executive and it’s Bureaucracy. The reality however is that the Executive and the Legislature have an antagonistic relationship often with the Executive being dominant.
 
The gist of this paper will be to show that notwithstanding the extremes of political intolerance and polarization that have characterized Zimbabwe since 2000, the need for a culture of acceptance of diversity is evident in Parliament. This is in part the result of the Reforms that were launched following the June 2000 Parliamentary elections. The country’s citizens have also invested their hope and aspirations in the electoral processes as a way of supporting responsive governance, nurturing democracy and remaining lawful. It is clearly debatable whether this investment has realized the expected returns in the short term. Notwithstanding events in the last six years, it can be ascertained that development course followed by the Parliament of Zimbabwe over the last decade signifies a very strong underlying sense of progressive transformation leading to democratic governance and accountability.
 
Conference:  African Legislature: Integrating Research and Policy
 
First Annual EISA Symposium Challenges for Democractic Governance and Human Development in Africa
 
 
1. Powerful presidents, weak parliaments? Identifying best practices of executive-legislative relations on the  African Continent
 
Publication type: Conference Papers
Year:  2006
Author(s):  Lia Nijzink
Conference:  First Annual EISA Symposium Challenges for Democractic Governance and Human Development in Africa
 
SAAPS Conference at UWC
 
1. South Africa's executive-legislative relations in comparative perspective: Measuring powers of  parliaments and presidents in Africa
 
Publication type: Conference Papers
Year:  2006
Author(s):  Lia Nijzink
Conference:  SAAPS Conference at UWC