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By Staffan I. Lindberg

This quantity experiences elections as a center establishment of liberal democracy within the context of newly democratizing international locations. Political scientist Staffan I. Lindberg gathers facts from each nationally contested election in Africa from 1989 to 2003, protecting 232 elections in forty four nations. He argues that democratizing countries discover ways to turn into democratic via repeated democratic habit, whether their elections are frequently wrong. Refuting a few verified hypotheses, Lindberg unearths no basic detrimental pattern in both the frequency or the standard of African elections. relatively, elections in Africa, in keeping with his findings, are greater than simply the target of a transition towards democracy or in basic terms a proper method. The inception of multiparty elections often initiates liberalization, and repeated electoral actions create incentives for political actors, fostering the growth and deepening of democratic values. as well as enhancing the democratic features of political regimes, a chain of elections has a tendency to extend and solidify de facto civil liberties in society. Drawing on a wealth of knowledge, Lindberg makes the case that repetitive elections are a huge causal think about the advance of democracy. He hence extends Rustow's (1970) conception that democratic habit produces democratic values. (2008)

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Following the classic rules of mutually exclusive definitions, specifying what democracy is necessarily involves clarifying also what it is not. In the following pages, this is considered from four approaches. Is democracy an object in itself or an attribute? I argue that it makes more sense to view democracy as an attribute of the political system than as an object in itself. Second, it is argued that in the present context it is preferable to use a degree approach rather than a dichotomy between democracy and nondemocracy.

In addition, Chapter 7 questions the methodology of mainstream consolidation studies and challenges the field to unbundle and disaggregate the dependent variable. Elections as a partial regime may well be consolidated and stabilized long before other partial regimes and may also be an independent variable causing other partial regimes to consolidate. For example, when an electoral regime stabilizes, it affects citizens’ attitudes, both through the learning and adaptation of partaking in these practices and through forming expectations that some kind of democratic elections will prevail.

As recorded in Table 2, quite a few African countries—33 of them—have held not only first but also second elections, and 20 have managed even third elections, while seven have concluded a series of at least four successive elections. Reading contemporary literature on African politics in general and on democratization in particular, one would not expect these facts. Even Africanists seem insufficiently aware of the spread and frequency of contested elections in Africa, perhaps in part because the comparative literature on elections and democratization in Africa is limited; hence, the need to provide an overview and some basic empirical details.

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