Election Observation and Democratization in Africa

  • Jon Abbink
  • Gerti Hesseling

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Introduction: Rethinking Democratization and Election Observation

  3. The Context of Elections in Africa

  4. Case Studies

  5. New Perspectives? Policy Issues and Electoral Observation in Africa

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 321-324

About this book


This book offers an authoritative study of election observation in Africa and its relation with democratization processes. Election observation is a hotly debated issue in contemporary international relations and in political science. It is seen by donor- countries and the international community as a means to enhance democratization, but has been controversial with regard to the `mandates' of the observers, the cases of its misappropriation by authoritarian governments and its masking of other donor-country interests. The book addresses fundamental issues of elections and democrat-ization in Africa, evaluation policies and implementation, as well as the historical backgrounds. A range of case studies leads to new interpretations, which challenge previous empiricist accounts of election observation in Africa. Greater attention to historical and cultural context is required than has been present in previous, somewhat prescriptive accounts. An interdisciplinary approach gives fair coverage of the historical, political and cultural issues involved in elections and election observation in Africa. Key examples of the interface between election observation and democratization processes in various important countries in Africa are presented, linking an analysis of policies and practice. The book contributes to topical debates on the dilemmas and challenges of 'good governance' and on the varieties of democracy as a global phenomenon.

Editors and affiliations

  • Jon Abbink
    • 1
  • Gerti Hesseling
    • 1
  1. 1.African Studies CentreLeidenThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave History Collection
  • Print ISBN 978-1-349-62330-3
  • Online ISBN 978-1-349-62328-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site