“The Wave of Democratisation” and Electoral Processes in Sub-Saharan Africa


Tatiana Denisova


“The wave of democratisation” that engulfed Africa in the 1990s–2000s led Russian and foreign political scientists, who for many years had studied the evolution of authoritarian regimes in the African context but suddenly found themselves facing a whole new reality – the multidimensional political changes that had taken place in most countries of the continent, to turn to researching their root causes and identifying their essence. The main directions of “democratisation” include holding parliamentary and presidential elections in a number of countries. However, the question arises of whether we can really call these processes “democratisation”. Does the power of new African regimes derive from their peoples? After all, real democracy presupposes not just the very fact of holding parliamentary and presidential elections, but also a penalty for falsifying their results as well as a system of checks and balances that limits the power of an elected leader: he, at least, should not persecute his less successful rivals.


Africa, political leadership, electoral processes, democracy, authoritarianism, dictatorship, personal rule


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