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Legislative Development in Africa


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Legislative development in Africa; 3. Intra-elite politics and credible commitment; 4. Colonial origins of parliaments in Kenya and Zambia; 5. Elite control and legislative development; 6. Legislative institutionalization in time; 7. Electoral politics and legislative independence; 8. Conclusion.

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Examined the development of legislatures under colonial rule, post-colonial autocratic single party rule, and multi-party politics in Africa.

About the Author

Ken Ochieng' Opalo is an assistant professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Washington DC. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University and B.A. from Yale University, Connecticut. His work has been published in journals such as the British Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Democracy, and the Journal of Eastern African Studies. His research interests include historical institutional development (with a focus on legislatures), the political economy of development, and the politics of the provision of public goods and services. Opalo's research has been supported by Stanford University's Susan Ford Dorsey Fellowship, the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID), and the Omidyar Network.


'Opalo's highly original argument makes a major contribution to political science. He substantiates his counter-intuitive claim - that legislatures govern more effectively when democracy emerges from under the thumb of a strong autocrat - with a wealth of qualitative and quantitative evidence from the key cases of Kenya and Zambia. He presents sophisticated ideas with compelling prose. This masterful book contributes to various literatures, including democratic transitions, authoritarian politics, and African studies. A must read.' James Raymond Vreeland, Princeton University, New Jersey

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