Accepted paper:

Political dynasties in Africa : mapping hereditary successions since independence


Marie Brossier (Université Laval)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the phenomenon of hereditary successions in Africa in contexts of more or less competitive political systems. Building on the Senegalese case study, this paper investigates into Wade's family and the failure of familial succession from Former President Wade to his son Karim.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores the phenomenon of political dynasties in Africa and how it challenges political regime characterization. It considers the processes of hereditary successions of leadership and power in Africa in contexts of more or less competitive political system. Although this phenomenon is often associated with certain types of néopatrimonial regimes, it is carried out through more or less competitive democratic structures in which elected positions of power are transmitted between members of the same family lineage within the structures of institutionalised political parties and electoral politics. Does the capture of political parties by a family jeopardize the democratization process? Does it reflects a logic of re-traditionnalisation or re-patrimonialisation of power? How do party supporters and elites respond to it? Does the formation of political dynasties shape new forms of political competition? First, this paper presents the methodological questions raised by mapping and quantifying political dynasties in the world and more specifically in Africa since 1960. Second, it underlines the processes of familial transfer of leadership and power in Senegal through the case of former President Wade and his son Karim Wade.

panel Pol10
The politics of dynasties in Africa