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Elite configurations and political regimes in Africa: the roles, structures and network dynamics of African Political Elites 
Ana Lúcia Sá (Centre for International Studies - ISCTE-IUL)
André Marinha (NOVA FCSH)
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Edalina Sanches (University of Lisbon)
Politics and International Relations (x) Inequality (y)
Philosophikum, S63
Friday 2 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

The panel welcomes papers that advance our knowledge on patterns of elite formation, cohesion, circulation and interactions across Africa's range of regimes. It is open to studies using diverse methodological approaches and innovative conceptual and analytical frameworks.

Long Abstract:

The study of political elites is key to understand power dynamics, the internal workings and the future of different political regimes. However, the study of these actors in Sub-Saharan Africa remains overlooked and, regardless of the regime type, has been rooted in an analytical framework heir of modernization and dependency theories, highlighting the neo-patrimonial, informal and clientelistic nature of power.

Likewise, what story does the longitudinal analysis of elite structures and power networks tell about the different political trajectories in Sub-Saharan Africa after the 1990s? Building on this question, the panel aims to (i) provide an overview of the different elite configurations in democratic, authoritarian and hybrid regimes that have been defining Sub-Saharan Africa; to (ii) identify who these elites are, their levels of cohesion and regime survival; and (iii) to map the interaction between elites and between elites and civil society.

This panel is open to monographic and comparative studies addressing the topics of elite formation, cohesion and circulation, and the role played by political elites in the shaping of political institutions and of the 'rules of the game' within the political field. Encouraging the use of different methodological contributions to the study of political elites in Africa, this panel is also open to accepting contributions from a wide range of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives focusing on the relationship between political, economic and military elites, between political elites and the civil society, on elite cohesion and regime stability, and on the patterns of elite recruitment and selection.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Friday 2 June, 2023, -