Political Parties in Africa

Democratic governance systems need strong and well- established parties to channel the demands of citizens, govern in the public good and satisfy the basic needs of societies. Moreover, political parties are crucial actors in aggregating and articulating interests, recruiting leaders, presenting election candidates and developing competing policy proposals that provide a voice to citizens and a choice of different proposals for the processes and procedures through which society is governed.

To fulfil these functions, however, trust in how the political system functions – and in political parties as cogs in this machine of government in particular – is critical. Citizens need to provide their consent (usually through electoral processes) to political parties to be their voice – and need to trust the alternative choices that parties provide them. But across the African continent, political parties appear to be suffering a malaise of low levels of confidence and trust that citizens have in them, notwithstanding the monumental changes taking place amongst citizen attitudes, especially recent trends towards greater direct political action. 

This edited volume contributes to critical discourse on politics, democratisation and political parties across the continent, and makes a constructive contribution to a political system malaise by suggesting a set of normative benchmarks for more open and democratic political and party systems, as well as more effective political party institutional establishment and organisation. The book is simultaneously a critical voice and constructive problem solver.  

 About the Editors

Ebrahim Fakir is currently Manager of Governance Institutions and Processes at the Electoral Institute for the Sustainability of Democracy in Africa (EISA). He is also Research Associate of the African Legislatures Project at the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Social Science Research and was formerly Senior Researcher at the Centre for Policy Studies in Johannesburg (2003–2009), and at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) (1998–2003). He writes on politics, the state, governance, democracy and development and is used as an analyst, commentator and facilitator by the national and international media, business and other organisations. He read for a degree in English Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg where he was elected on to the Student Representative Council; and was a visiting fellow at the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Sussex. 

Tom Lodge is Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Limerick. Before his arrival in Limerick in 2005 he was Professor of Political Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has also held positions at the University of York, the Social Science Research Council in New York, and the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa. In 1999–2000 he was Chair of the Africa Institute in Pretoria and between 2004 and 2005 he served on the Research Assessment Executive Evaluation Committee of the National Research Foundation in Pretoria. He is the author of seven books and two edited volumes. They include Black Politics in South Africa since 1945 (Longman, 1993 – a new edition due for re-release by Jacana in February 2013) and Politics in South Africa From Mandela to Mbeki (University of Indiana Press, 2002), Nelson Mandela: A Critical Life (OUP, 2006) and Sharpeville: An Apartheid Massacre and its Consequences (OUP, 2011). His publications also include 60 journal articles and chapters in edited collections. 


Parameters of Book:
Editors: Ebrahim Fakir and Tom Lodge
ISBN: 9781920196790
d-PDF ISBN: 9781920196806
ePUB ISBN: 9781920196813
mobi file ISBN: 9781920196820
Size (mm): 210x148mm
Pages: 320pp
Format: Paperback
Colour: Black and White
Rights: World
Language: English
Publication Date: August 2015