Power-sharing and democratization in Africa: the Kenyan experience

Abstract

The institution of power-sharing has over the past years become known as a mechanism for conflict resolution and even a factor of democratization. While power-sharing proved certain effectiveness in overcoming political crises, its positive impact on democratization is contested. Although existing research has focused extensively on the relationship between power-sharing and democratization, some areas of this phenomenon remain under-researched. This is particularly true of power-sharing in the form of ad hoc political practices based on a temporary agreement of political elites resulting in the establishment of a government of national unity. This paper approaches the gap in understanding both conceptual levels of the phenomena through a case study of Kenya as a country which underwent a period of power-sharing and where elections have historically played an important role in the country’s path towards democratization. The paper provides an analysis of the impact of power-sharing on the democratic quality of elections and argues that the power-sharing government in Kenya eventually contributed to democratization although its impact on different areas of assessment varied.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.

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Correspondence to Michal Mochtak.

Appendix

Appendix

Areas of assessment of the democratic quality of elections and results of the analysis of election-related legislation in 2008 and 2013.

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Drnovsky, A., Mochtak, M. Power-sharing and democratization in Africa: the Kenyan experience. J Int Relat Dev (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41268-018-0158-9

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Keywords

  • Power-sharing
  • Democratization
  • Elections
  • Kenya