Does the African middle class defend democracy? Evidence from Kenya

Nic Cheeseman

This paper uses the case of Kenya to investigate the attitudes and behaviours of the middle class. It uses Afrobarometer survey data to explore whether there is anything distinctive about the political attitudes of the Kenyan middle class. The paper measures class in four ways: education, employment status, poverty, and wealth (assets). It then tests whether these variables ...» more

Citizen-Led Accountability and Inclusivity in Pakistan

Tom Kirk

This paper examines the experiences of citizens' groups seeking to hold Pakistan’s elected representatives and governance institutions accountable. A recent citizen-led accountability programme across both conflict-affected and peaceful constituencies has reported significant success in mobilising volunteer groups to demand the resolution of local issues. This paper examines ...» more

Authoritarianism, democracy and development

Tim Kelsall

This paper reviews the evidence on authoritarianism and development from the perspective of a policy-maker providing advice to an ostensibly developmental authoritarian regime. It finds that the cross-national statistical evidence on regime type and development is inconclusive, and argues that varying experiences of development under authoritarianism are better-captured by ...» more

Political systems

Timor-Leste Holds Second Round of Presidential Election

Political systems are the formal and informal political processes by which decisions are made concerning the use, production and distribution of resources in any given society. Formal political institutions can determine the process for electing leaders; the roles and responsibilities of the executive and legislature; the organisation of political representation (through ...» more

Women’s participation in peace and security: Normative ends, political means

Pilar Domingo, Tam O’Neil, Marta Foresti

This briefing draws on recent ODI research and evaluation to review opportunities to promote women’s political participation and leadership in transitional and post-conflict settings, assess current international efforts to do so, and provide recommendations for policy and programming in this area. Key findings: Post-conflict and transitional settings provide real opportunities ...» more

Why women participate less in civic activity: Evidence from Mali

Jessica Gottlieb

This paper finds that a randomly assigned civic education course in Mali widened the gender gap, when it increased civic activity among men while decreasing that among women. Qualitative evidence reveals mechanisms by which the intervention generated perverse consequences for women. In a place where women are traditionally unwelcome actors in the public sphere, the course ...» more

The ideal of gender justice and the UNSCR 1325

Sirkku K. Hellsten

The paper examines why the efforts to promote gender justice by development aid have not succeeded in dealing with deeply-rooted structural injustices which prevent the realization of social justice and gender equality. The study analyses the implementation of the UNSCR 1325 ‘Women, Peace, and Security’ in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The paper concludes that in ...» more

“We need a culture of truth”: the role of civil society organisations in transitional justice

Ouko Eunice, Cory Kuklick

The Refugee Law Project recently held a workshop with a number of civil society organisations (CSOs) and key stakeholders to discuss transitional justice and national reconciliation in Uganda. This report sheds light on the discussions held in that event. Many of the CSOs committed to working together in the future and acknowledged the power of numbers in regards to regional ...» more

State of Civil Society Report 2014


The report draws on contributions from more than 30 experts on civil society as well as on inputs from members, partners, supporters and others in the global CIVICUS alliance. The varied contributions highlight changing global political dynamics, an emerging disillusionment with global frameworks of governance and a fundamental lack of accountability within international ...» more

Another resource curse? The impact of remittances on political participation

Kim Yi Dionne, Kris L. Inman, Gabriella R. Montinola

International remittances have grown dramatically over the past few decades. Existing scholarship on the impact of remittances has focused on their socioeconomic effects. This article focuses instead on the political impact of remittances, and in particular, its effect on political participation. Recent work on Mexico suggests that remittances may be a resource curse. They ...» more

Political party development in Ukraine

There are a combination of institutional and structural factors that account for party development in Ukraine. They include: The weakness of ideology in political parties Poor incentives for party institutionalisation due to the design and instability of the institutional rules of the game Extensive use of state administrative resources by regime-supported parties The ...» more

The Middle Eastern Youth and the Arab Spring: Cross-National Variation and Trends in Values

Mansoor Moaddel, Julie de Jong

This paper analyses the data from the values surveys carried out in the region since in the past decades in order to assess cross-national variation and trend in the values and perceptions of the youth in several Middle Eastern countries. Based on this analysis, the study also assesses the extent to which the Arab Spring signifies the ushering in of a new cultural episode in ...» more

Politics Meets Policies: The Emergence of Programmatic Political Parties

Nic Cheeseman et al.

This publication is about programmatic political parties: parties that provide citizens with meaningful choice over policies by reaching out to them through coherent political programmes. It explains what programmatic parties are, in which environments they are likely to emerge and how they come about.A Survey of Dimensions and Explanations in the LiteratureSignificantly more ...» more

Accountability for Civil Society by Civil Society: A Guide to Self-Regulation Initiatives

Dorothée Guénéheux, Alison Bottomley

Civil society organisations across the world are being asked to be more and more transparent and demonstrate their accountability. The pressures come from multiple angles, from greater scrutiny over how public money is spent to more sophisticated impact analysis and to increasing demands to demonstrate ‘value for money’. This guide is intended for reflection on CSOs’ ...» more

Political Parties in Africa through a Gender Lens

Rumbidzai Kandawasvika-Nhundu

The aim of this analysis is to determine the extent to which the policy documents of political parties in 33 countries in Africa include commitments to promoting gender equality and the equal participation and representation of men and women in political leadership, elective positions of power and decision making. With a specific focus on political parties as the institutions ...» more

Demand for Democracy Is Rising in Africa, But Most Political Leaders Fail to Deliver

Michael Bratton, Richard Houessou

Africans express growing attachment to democracy according to citizen attitude surveys conducted by the Afrobarometer in 34 countries. Seven out of ten Africans prefer democracy to other political regimes, and the proportion of deeply committed democrats (that is, those who also reject authoritarian alternatives) has risen steadily over the past decade.This Afrobarometer policy ...» more

Dealing with election-related violence in fragile and conflict-affected states

There are a number of causes of election-related violence, which can occur at different stages of the electoral cycle. Dealing with this violence very much depends on understanding these causes and tailoring measures to address them. This report draws on guidance material, evaluation literature and empirical studies to provide a brief overview of measures to prevent and address ...» more

Conflict and the Formation of Political Beliefs in Africa

Achyuta Adhvaryu, James Fenske

This study tests whether living through conflict in childhood changes political beliefs and engagement. It combines data on the location and intensity of conflicts since 1945 with nationally representative data on political attitudes and behaviours from 17 sub-Saharan African countries. Exposure from ages 0 to 14 has a very small standardized impact on later attitudes and ...» more

Promoting Democracy: What Role for the Democratic Emerging Powers?

Gerd Schönwälder

This article examines the role of the democratic emerging powers - India, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, and Turkey - in promoting democracy beyond their own borders. It argues that while these countries have potential advantages compared to western democracy promoters, namely, their own experiences in transitioning from authoritarian to democratic rule and their greater ...» more

Social mobilisation in urban contexts

Suggestions for improving urban social mobilisation include: Self-help groups: Creating community groups for expectant mothers, for example, or certain types of workers, can provide a basis for social support. These can used as a basis for social mobilisation to enable the public to demand and gain access to services. Issue-based targeting of individuals and groups: This ...» more