Over the last decade, African politics has been marked by the entrenchment of political incumbents, both those who came to power and those who retained it during the flurry of democratic reform in the early 1990s. These dominant party regimes may represent an advancement over the one-party states and military rule that characterized postcolonial politics in Africa, but they are a far cry from the democratic regimes envisioned following the arrival of the “Third Wave” of democratization to African shores. An exception to this political trend was the peaceful transfer of political power following Senegal’s 2000 presidential elections after four decades of rule by the Socialist Party. Ironically, both this historic event and the entrenchment of Africa’s political incumbents can be explained by the complex and varied relationship between clientelism and democracy.


Political Competition Political Mobilization Electoral District Economic Autonomy Social Authority 
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© Linda J. Beck 2008

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