The panel deals with the effects of different forms of pressure on and support for non-democratic regimes in Africa. Also of interest is how external factors affect the sovereignty of target states and how African actors influence decisions to exert pressure on the international and regional stage.
Various actors in today's multipolar world have employed different instruments to change non-democratic rule in Africa - e.g. sanctions, freezing of development aid or democracy-promotion measures. However, neither the much-vaunted "third wave" of democratization nor the Arab Spring has washed away the continent's remaining non-democratic regimes. On the other hand, several countries, most notably China, have provided economic, political and moral support to non-democratic regimes and rulers in Africa and may thereby have countered attempts to exert pressure on them. The panel will discuss the effects of the different forms of pressure exerted on and the support provided to non-democratic regimes in Africa. We invite papers that deal with - particularly from comparative perspective - (a)current or prior sanction episodes as well as other forms of pressure (for instance, conditionality) against non-democratic regimes - for instance, in Zimbabwe, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea or Madagascar. Of particular interest is regional or continental pressure exerted on regional organizations' member states (e.g. based on the AU's principle of not condoning "unconstitutional change" of government). (b) instances of outside and regional support and their effects on non-democratic rulers and regimes in Africa. (c) how external pressure and support affect the sovereignty of targeted African states, and how new transnational alliances or antagonisms are being forged around questions of pressure on and support for non-democratic regimes in Africa. (d) how African actors influence decisions to exert pressure on the international and regional stage, thereby potentially minimizing or maximizing pressure on non-democratic regimes.