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Crafting Political Institutions in Africa. Electoral Systems and Systems of Government in Rwanda and Zambia Compared


  • Alexander Stroh

    () (GIGA Institute of African Affairs)


Scholars of institutional design attribute large importance to the choice of new institutions. The comparative analysis of how Rwanda and Zambia crafted their new electoral systems and the systems of government regards procedural, structural and rational choice variables which may influence the option for particular solutions. External influences and the type of transition are determinants that can decide which actors make their interests prevail. The degree of innovation or conservatism of new institutions is mainly a result of the speed of the process and the kind of actors involved. However, rational reflections on how to produce legitimacy and minimize personal risks which take into consideration the state of conflict in the country decide on the speed and on innovative outcomes. The structured analysis of only two cases uncovers already that it is rather difficult to realise the transfer of design recommendations into reality.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Stroh, 2007. "Crafting Political Institutions in Africa. Electoral Systems and Systems of Government in Rwanda and Zambia Compared," GIGA Working Paper Series 43, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:43

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Reiterer, 2006. "Japan and the European Union: shared foreign policy interests," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 333-349, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Stroh, 2009. "The Effects of Electoral Institutions in Rwanda: Why Proportional Representation Supports the Authoritarian Regime," GIGA Working Paper Series 105, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.

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    institutions; institutional design; transition; electoral system; Rwanda; Zambia;

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