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New tools for the analysis of political power in Africa

Author: Ilia Rainer; Francesco Trebbi; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2012.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 18424.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The study of autocracies and weakly institutionalized countries is plagued by scarcity of information about the relative strength of different players within the political system. This paper presents novel data on the composition of government coalitions in a sample of fifteen post-colonial African countries suited to this task. We emphasize the role of the executive branch as the central fulcrum of all national  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Ilia Rainer; Francesco Trebbi; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 811841150
Notes: Title from http://www.nber.org/papers/18424 viewed October 4, 2012.
"September 2012."
Description: 1 online resource (75, [7] pages).
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 18424.
Responsibility: Ilia Rainer, Francesco Trebbi.

Abstract:

The study of autocracies and weakly institutionalized countries is plagued by scarcity of information about the relative strength of different players within the political system. This paper presents novel data on the composition of government coalitions in a sample of fifteen post-colonial African countries suited to this task. We emphasize the role of the executive branch as the central fulcrum of all national political systems in our sample, especially relative to other institutional bodies such as the legislative assembly. Leveraging on the impressive body of work documenting the crucial role of ethnic fragmentation as a main driver of political and social friction in Africa, the paper further details the construction of ethnic composition measures for executive cabinets. We discuss how this novel source of information may help shed light on the inner workings of typically opaque African political elites.

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