Explaining Disparities in Electoral Concession and Peaceful Presidential Power Alternation in 21st Century Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire

This paper argues that the ultimate reason explaining the disparate concession outcomes is a function of zero-sum politics versus positive-sum politics, which are present in Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal respectively. Through exploring two underlying, pre-democratization variables, the catalyst of democratization, and two consequential, post-democratization variables, this paper will demonstrate how and why Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire differ in terms of zero-sum/positive-sum politics, and how this ultimate reason explains why Wade chose to peacefully concede his defeat while Gbagbo did not.

Gender Quotas in Sub-Saharan African Legislatures: Feminist Justifications and Implications

Over the past few decades, gender quotas have become an increasingly common policy around the world. Since the late 1980s, more than 70 countries have implemented laws requiring that women compose a minimum percentage of electoral candidates or seats in the national legislature, with the goal that such policies will increase the amount of women in elected legislative positions. Current scholars generally agree that gender quotas have led to an increase in the presence of women in legislatures around the world, presumably demonstrating that gender quotas achieve a feminist goal of increased representation for women and a more equal opportunity for women to contest such elections. This paper will focus on gender quotas in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region with significant implementation of gender quota policies (half of the countries in the region have mandated gender quotas) and the fastest and largest rate of change in women’s political representation in recent decades.

Democracy and Human Rights in Zimbabwe Post-2018 Elections

While it is unclear what will develop in the near future, it is imperative that the United States continues to enforce its sanctions and uphold its support for democracy and human rights. The United States should promote an end to attacks on political opposition and civil society, the elimination of repressive laws, transparent economic management, and election reform with meaningful national dialogue. Lastly, while the United States should strive to assist with the development of Zimbabwe, it cannot lose sight of the necessary conditions of good governance and respect for human rights.

China’s Involvement in Africa in the Past 20 Years

Concurrent with China’s rapid economic growth over the past two decades has been China’s increasingly deep interest, investment, and relationship with the African continent. China has engaged in considerable trade with African countries and heavily financed development projects. China’s expanding geopolitical influence through the media, military involvement, and diplomatic engagement has introduced ubiquitous new realities on the continent, which the United States should investigate and address more actively. As economic and political ties have deepened between China and Africa, some in the West have become skeptical of China’s intentions and whether negative impacts will arise from Chinese engagement with Africa. On the contrary, many African governments and citizens openly welcome China’s involvement, a major reason being China’s ability to address the infrastructure gap. However, this situation is not purely dichotomous and thus a more nuanced approach is required to assess the potential outcomes for African countries and the United States.

Ghana and South Africa: A Tale of Different Democracies

While Ghana and South Africa have stronger democracies compared to many countries on the African continent, Ghana has proven to have a more legitimate and fair democracy. Compiling the various factors of democracy shows that Ghana’s prospects for democratic support from all citizens are stronger than South Africa’s democratic future. By examining the greater role… Continue reading Ghana and South Africa: A Tale of Different Democracies

2018 DRC Elections: United States Ambassador Michael Hammer Policy Memo to the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The upcoming elections scheduled for December 23, 2018 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo face various challenges of security, logistics, and equal freedoms if the elections are to truly be free, fair, and credible.

A Loss of Self-Identity: Blind Loyalty to Party Ideology and the Acceptance of Political Corruption

In “The Ceremony,” Emmanuel Dongala examines the progression of distorted perceptions of a proletariat worker in a post-colonial central African Marxist state. Through this viewpoint, Dongala narrates the day of the ceremony commemorating the new director of the manure factory, a position the worker at first claims to be his goal, after having worked tirelessly… Continue reading A Loss of Self-Identity: Blind Loyalty to Party Ideology and the Acceptance of Political Corruption