John Ishiyama and John James
Quinn, "African Phoenix? Explaining the Electoral
Performance of the Formerly Dominant Parties in Africa,"
Party Politics, 12 (May, 2006), 317-340.
What affects the development of political parties in new
democracies? Although many scholars have argued that
political parties are requisite for the development of any
democratic political system (e.g. Aldrich, 1995; Apter,
1965; Downs, 1957; Duverger, 1954; Key, 1964; Lipset and
Rokkan, 1967; Sartori, 1976; Schattschneider, 1942) and
despite considerable attention paid to political party
development in other new democracies in postcommunist Europe
(Ishiyama, 1995, 1997; Kitschelt, 1995, 1997), Latin America
(Mainwaring, 1994) and Asia (Shin, 1994), scant attention
has been paid to the question of the development of
political parties in new electoral regimes in Africa. To be
sure, there have been several studies that have focused on
the level of party systems development and characterized the
types of parties that are emerging (Bratton and van de
Walle, 1997; Kuenzi and Lambright, 2001; Makinda, 1996; van
de Walle, 2003; Vengroff, 1993; Widner, 1997), but none have
examined the evolution of political parties per se.
Figures and Tables:
Table 1. List of parties and legislative elections in the
Table 2. Regression results
Whatever the case there remains a considerable amount of
work to do. Events in Africa have provided enormous
opportunities for students of political parties to examine
the generalizability of existing theories of party
development. This article represents only a preliminary
attempt to explain the evolution of the formerly dominant
parties that emerged from the oneparty states in Africa.
Nonetheless, the fate of these parties will not only shed a
considerable amount of new light on identifying the reasons
why parties develop in the way they do, but will provide
insight as to the future shape of politics and electoral
democracy in Africa.