Current Institutional Affiliation
Lecturer, Political Studies, University of the Witwatersrand

Award Information

Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship 2017
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Political Studies, University of the Witwatersrand
Electoral Politics in Post-conflict Angola, 2008-2017: Furthering Democracy or Sustaining Authoritarian Rule?

In the liberal tradition, elections are the defining institution of democracy. It is through elections that the essence of democracy – self-rule of the people – becomes actualized. However, the post-Cold-War period has seen the emergence of political regimes that mimic democratic procedures without embracing the substance of democracy. Their main characteristic is the existence of multiparty electoral competition while maintaining tight control over the political space and manipulating the electoral process in order to ensure political survival. This research interrogates whether the introduction of multiparty elections is contributing to democratization or sustaining authoritarian rule in the understudied country of Angola. The study examines elections and electoral processes in that Southern African country within the context of the 'third wave', transitional democracy, and political transformations in post-Cold-War Africa. The inquiry is anchored in the liberal democratic tradition, theories of political participation, the third wave of democratization, electoral authoritarianism, and Angolan experiences of transitions from war to peace, from an authoritarian Marxist-Leninist state to a multiparty democratic system, and from a socialist to a liberal market economy. Furthermore, the research follows the qualitative methodological approach, makes use of descriptive data gathered from both primary and secondary sources and assessed through the techniques of content analysis.