Accepted paper:

Participating in or fighting against the system: the role of opposition parties in hybrid regimes

Authors:

Eloise Bertrand (University of Warwick)

Paper short abstract:

Based upon ongoing qualitative research being conducted in Uganda and Burkina Faso, this paper will ponder why do opposition parties exist and subsist in hybrid regimes considering the heavily constrained political environment, and how do they position themselves within such a political space.

Paper long abstract:

Opposition parties in sub-Saharan African are often portrayed as weak and irrelevant. This is hardly surprising in a sub-continent characterised by hybrid, one-party dominant regimes where constrains such as intimidation, corruption, electoral fraud, and monopoly of state resources make it unlikely, if not impossible, for opposition parties to obtain power, influence policies, or make the government accountable by democratic means. Still, despite those constraints, old opposition parties remain while new ones emerge, often splitting from the ruling elite. Based upon ongoing qualitative research being conducted in Uganda and Burkina Faso, this paper will ponder why do opposition parties exist and subsist in hybrid regimes considering the heavily constrained political environment, and how do they position themselves within such a political space.

panel P056
Party Politics under Authoritarian Rule