S06E04: Ken Opa­lo on the Prospects of Democ­ra­cy Across Africa 

This episode explores the cur­rent state of democ­ra­cy across Africa. What are the main achieve­ments since the 1990s and what are the biggest inter­nal threats to con­sol­i­da­tion of democ­ra­cy? Why have demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­ern­ments failed to deliv­er? Lis­ten to how unful­filled promis­es and aspi­ra­tions for a bet­ter life have shaped the cur­rent context.

Guest fea­tured in this episode:

Trained in com­par­a­tive pol­i­tics and focus­ing on Sub-Saha­ran Africa, Opa­lo has a wide range of research inter­ests includ­ing leg­isla­tive insti­tu­tions and polit­i­cal devel­op­ment, sub­na­tion­al admin­is­tra­tion and decen­tral­ized gov­ern­ment, elec­tions and demo­c­ra­t­ic con­sol­i­da­tion in Africa.

His book, “Leg­isla­tive Devel­op­ment in Africa. Pol­i­tics and Post-Colo­nial Lega­cies”, inter­ro­gates the evo­lu­tion of African leg­is­la­tures in the wake of the tran­si­tion from autoc­ra­cy to democ­ra­cy. It pro­vides a com­par­a­tive and his­tor­i­cal expla­na­tion of vari­a­tions in the insti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion and strength­en­ing of leg­is­la­tures across the con­ti­nent. He is cur­rent­ly work­ing on two book projects, one on the process of “Colo­nial and Post-colo­nial State Build­ing and Decen­tral­iza­tion in Kenya,” and anoth­er on the “Pol­i­tics of Edu­ca­tion in Tanzania.” 


Shalini Randeria

Shalini Randeria is Rector and President of the Central European University (Vienna/Budapest). Before, she was Professor of Social Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute Geneva, and Rector of the Institute of Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna from 2014 to 2021. She has published widely on the anthropology of globalisation, law, the state and social movements. Her empirical research on India also addresses issues of post-coloniality and multiple modernities.