On the institutional trajectories of political parties in authoritarian regimes: this panel invites papers with insights into the inner workings of parties and their micro-level activities that underpin continuity or change in party systems, especially when they do so in unexpected ways.
Much work writes of 'democratization' and 'autocratization'. This panel hopes to bring together papers that offer complicating narratives of party politics in electoral authoritarian regimes in sub-Saharan Africa. It invites papers that characterise diverse trajectories in political party institutional development across both dominant or opposition parties. Papers should explain institutional change or continuity in political parties. Ideally, they should find unusual or unexpected sorts of institutional phenomena at work, and they should do so by unpicking the meso- or micro-level workings of political parties. Authors are invited to engage with a broad and open conception of political party institutions. Papers that engage with 'bricks and mortar' party organs, internal electoral procedures and rules, hierarchical relationships between parties leaders and inferiors, and extra-party routines of election campaigning will all be considered. This panel aspires through papers like these to detail the divergence in political parties' trajectories in both government and opposition in electoral authoritarian regimes in sub-Saharan Africa. By doing so, it hopes to link democratization and autocratization to party politics while avoiding the common trappings of democratic teleology.