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Lise Rakner Lectures on "The Politics of Elections in Africa" on Feb. 6

Lise Rakner

As part of Pomona College’s “Africa Initiative: Voices on Africa” series, political scientist Lise Rakner (University of Bergen and Chr. Michelsen Institute in Norway) will present a talk titled, “Competition and Participation, But No Democracy: The Politics of Elections in Africa’s Feckless Regimes.” The lecture will be held on Thursday, Feb. 6, at noon in Carnegie 109 (425 N. College Ave., Claremont).

In her talk, Rakner will discuss how the majority of African regimes combine autocratic practices with formal democratic contestation and elections—creating nations in which power is contested but cannot be characterized as true democracies. Looking at Malawi in particular, Rakner will argue that in these “feckless pluralist regimes,” competitive elections and power alternation have not induced political leaders to carry out programs for development and change.

Rakner’s areas of research are issues of democratization and human rights, economic reform, taxation, institutional change and international aid, with a particular emphasis on Southern and Eastern Africa. She has served as a consultant for the World Bank and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, among other organizations. 

The “Voices on Africa Series” is part of the five-year Pomona College Africa Initiative, which through guest speakers, performers and a visiting African scholar each spring, highlights the continent’s ever-increasing importance, its emerging economies, and the vital role the region plays on the international stage. For more information, contact: pierre.englebert@pomona.edu.

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