n African Journal of Democracy and Governance - Violence in African Elections: Between Democracy and Big Man Politics, Mimmi Soderberg Kovacs & Jesper Bjarnesen (Eds.) - book review

Volume 5 Number 3
  • ISSN : 2313-6529


This book is a collection of election time accounts from nine African countries, and how these countries are perverted by election related violence. In their introduction, the editors of the book celebrate the fact that since the reintroduction of multiparty democracy in Africa in the 1990s, “the holding of elections has emerged as the most important institutional mechanism for the distribution of political power.”(Kovacs 2018: 1) However, the frequency of elections has not translated into the entrenchment of democracy, as the instances of election violence throughout the continent have shown. This fact is elaborated in eleven case studies of elections in nine African countries, ranging from low to middle levels of political violence, and some cases of large-scale election related killings. The nine countries covered are Kenya, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Liberia, Zimbabwe and Ghana.

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