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researching the dynamics of leaders’ replacement: the Africa Leadership Change (ALC) dataset

Abstract

African politics long revolved around ‘personal rulers’ who either overstayed in office or were quickly ousted by coups. The multiparty reforms of the 1990s were meant to change and regularise the way in which African rulers access and are removed from office. There is, however, a dearth of systematic data through which the evolution and implications of leadership transitions can be examined. We thus built a comprehensive Africa Leadership Change (ALC) dataset covering all 54 countries in the continent from 1960 to 2015. The dataset provides information for all leaders who held power in the region, the modes of access to leadership and several other key election and regime variables. An exploratory analysis illustrates how Africa’s reforms affected the dynamics and timing of leaders’ replacement, as well as their socio-economic implications. A comparison with existing datasets shows that ALC is more suitable for investigating leadership transitions in Africa.

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Figure 1
Figure 2

Source: ALC dataset.

Figure 3

Source: ALC dataset.

Figure 4

Source: ALC dataset.

Figure 5

Source: ALC dataset; World Development Indicators.

Figure 6

Source: ALC dataset; World Development Indicators.

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Acknowledgements

This work is part of a research project on The Economic, Social and Political Consequences of Democratic Reforms: A Quantitative and Qualitative Comparative Analysis (COD), funded by a Starting Grant of the European Research Council (Grant Agreement No. 262873, ‘Ideas’, 7th Framework Programme of the EU).

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Correspondence to alessandro pellegata.

APPENDIX

APPENDIX

Table A1 Leadership changes in African countries: some basic features from the ALC dataset, 1960–2015

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carbone, g., pellegata, a. researching the dynamics of leaders’ replacement: the Africa Leadership Change (ALC) dataset. Eur Polit Sci 17, 187–210 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41304-016-0099-y

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Keywords

  • Africa
  • coups d’état
  • dataset
  • leadership
  • multiparty elections
  • political alternation