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Rebels and parties: the impact of armed insurgency on representation in the Central African Republic

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Mehler, Andreas

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Abstract This paper analyses the declining importance of political parties in the Central African Republic (CAR). The country can be considered an extreme example of the lack of viability of a state in general, and democracy in particular. However, the quality of elections has exceeded the average in the sub-region over a substantial time-span. Hopes for a democratic future only faded in recent years. The paper hypothesises that both political parties and rebel movements are failing to adequately represent (ethnoregional) interests, but that parties are suffering more in the course of the enduring war and the peace process. Patterns of elite behaviour are presented as the main explanation for the resulting crisis of representation, with international actors' preference for inclusionary power-sharing deals seen as the main aggravating factor.
Keywords Central African Republic; party; democracy; election; political power; political conflict; peace negotiation; peace process; violence; political participation; ethnic group; representation of interests
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy
Free Keywords Innerstaatlicher Konflikt; Konfliktpartei/Konfliktbeteiligte; Verhältnis zwischen Gruppen/Institutionen
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 115-139
Journal The Journal of Modern African Studies, 49 (2011) 1
ISSN 1469-7777
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.