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Mobilizing for Democracy? Collective Action and Political Power in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Wolfgang StuppertEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)

Abstract

This chapter analyses political power in electoral authoritarian regimes in Sub-Saharan Africa from a collective action perspective. It argues that from the perspective of collective action theory, political power can be understood as the ability to project a credible mobilization threat into the political arena. The analysis shows that authoritarian ruling elites in Sub-Saharan Africa have strong advantages over oppositional elites in both building up and maintaining such a threat. Societal groups therefore represent the most important alternative source of political power in these regimes. Data on social conflicts is used to trace trajectories of political mobilizations of ruling elites, oppositional political elites, and societal groups in Sub-Saharan Africa across countries and over time.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Berlin Graduate School of Social SciencesHumboldt University of BerlinBerlinGermany

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