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Matthias Basedau and Anika Moroff, "Parties in chains: Do ethnic party bans in Africa promote peace?" Party Politics, 17 (March, 2011), 205-222. [Available at ]

First paragraph:
As of late 2010, there was hardly any country in sub-Saharan Africa that did not have a multiparty system. However, fears persist that multiparty politics encourage the politicization of ethnicity and other socially attributed identities, resulting in inter-communal conflict. For this reason, the overwhelming majority of sub-Saharan countries have introduced legal provisions to ban 'particularistic' parties.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Differences between ban and non-ban countries 1990 to 2007
Table 2. Party bans and conflict in countries with surrounding conditions held constant
Table 3. Conflict intensity and changes in conflict 1990-2007
Table 4. Major particularistic party bans and the impact on conflict 1990-2007

Last Paragraph:
(First paragraph of Conclusion) Almost all sub-Saharan countries have introduced bans on particularistic parties. Hypotheses on the impact of implemented bans have been tested by comparing ban and non-ban countries and conflict dynamics after a ban, as well as by undertaking more detailed studies of 'major bans'. The results clearly show that particularistic party bans are not a universal remedy for inter-communal conflict. In most cases, hardly any effect can be detected, and in Kenya violence increased because of such a ban. Frequently, bans are rather part of the 'menu of manipulation' and are abused to exclude political opponents. In the long run this may well have a negative effect on inter-communal relations by fostering resistance in the politically excluded groups. These findings thus call into question the widespread - and widely unchallenged - practice of banning particularistic parties in Africa.

Last updated March 2011