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Parliaments and Citizens in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Abstract:

In Sub-Saharan Africa, elected multiparty assemblies have existed on average for no more than two decades. The following analysis seeks to comprehend and evaluate the links between citizens and their elected parliaments in 18 African countries with a particular focus on Mozambique and South Africa. It aims to address some of the scepticism, both within and outside these institutions and countries, surrounding the relationship between parliaments and citizens under these socioeconomic contexts. It does so by explaining the overall political and socioeconomic context of African multiparty parliaments and their citizens followed by a discussion of citizens' access to parliaments and, lastly, of citizens' perceptions of parliaments using a combination of descriptive, comparative and analytic techniques.

Keywords: Africa; African parliaments; democratisation; legislatures; parliament and citizens

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13572334.2012.706054

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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