Journal of Democracy July 2019 Issue: Aspirations and Realities in Africa

How does polarization help would-be authoritarians to win elections? Will Ethiopia’s political opening lead to lasting change? Why are Europe’s center-left parties doing so poorly?










A cluster of six articles in the July 2019 issue of the Journal of Democracy looks at recent political trends in sub-Saharan Africa:  

  • Peter Lewis highlights democracy’s resilience in the region and examines the challenges it faces;
  • E. Gyimah-Boadi argues that the “supply” of democracy by political elites has not kept up with popular demand;
  • Rachel Beatty Riedl and Ndongo Samba Sylla explore how Senegalese president Macky Sall secured reelection;
  • Ayo Obe assesses the new anti-fraud measures and solidifying two-party system that shaped Nigeria’s recent elections;
  • Pierre Englebert explains how an apparent last-minute deal with an opposition contender allowed the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s outgoing president to prolong his influence; and
  • Jon Temin and Yoseph Badwaza analyze rising ethnic tensions and the prospects of liberalization in Ethiopia.

Plus: Five years after the EuroMaidan protests drove a corrupt president from power, how is Ukraine’s democracy faring?

Also in the July 2019 issue:

  • Sheri Berman and Maria Snegovaya on the decline of the social-democratic left in Europe;
  • Milan Svolik on how voters may be trading off democratic principles for partisan interests;
  • Jørgen Elklit and Michael Maley on ballot secrecy in the age of remote voting;
  • Adel Iskandar on how digital satire is keeping dissent alive amid Egypt’s hardening authoritarianism;
  • Forrest Colburn on the political fatigue and waning popularity of Central America’s leftists; and
  • Didi Kuo reviewing Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself, by Frances McCall Rosenbluth and Ian Shapiro.

View the full Table of Contents at