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    Söderberg Kovacs, Mimmi and Hatz, Sophia 2016. Rebel-to-party transformations in civil war peace processes 1975–2011. Democratization, Vol. 23, Issue. 6, p. 990.

    Zanker, Franzisca 2014. Legitimate Representation: Civil Society Actors in Peace Negotiations Revisited. International Negotiation, Vol. 19, Issue. 1, p. 62.

    Brown, H. Carolyn Peach Smit, Barry Somorin, Olufunso A. Sonwa, Denis J. and Ngana, Félix 2013. Institutional perceptions, adaptive capacity and climate change response in a post-conflict country: a case study from Central African Republic. Climate and Development, Vol. 5, Issue. 3, p. 206.

    2012. BIBLIOGRAPHY. Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol. 25, Issue. 01, p. 221.


Rebels and parties: the impact of armed insurgency on representation in the Central African Republic

  • Andreas Mehler (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 11 February 2011

This paper analyses the declining importance of political parties in the Central African Republic (CAR). The country can be considered an extreme example of the lack of viability of a state in general, and democracy in particular. However, the quality of elections has exceeded the average in the sub-region over a substantial time-span. Hopes for a democratic future only faded in recent years. The paper hypothesises that both political parties and rebel movements are failing to adequately represent (ethnoregional) interests, but that parties are suffering more in the course of the enduring war and the peace process. Patterns of elite behaviour are presented as the main explanation for the resulting crisis of representation, with international actors' preference for inclusionary power-sharing deals seen as the main aggravating factor.

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M. Debos 2008. ‘Fluid loyalties in a regional crisis: Chadian “ex-liberators” in the Central African Republic’, African Affairs 107, 427: 225–41.

K. Deonandan , D. Close & G. Prevost , eds. 2007. From Revolutionary Movements to Political Parties: cases from Latin America and Africa. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

M. Glasius 2008. ‘“We ourselves, we are part of the functioning”: the ICC, victims, and civil society in the Central African Republic’, African Affairs 108, 430: 4967.

A. Jarstad 2008. ‘Power sharing: former enemies in joint government’, in Jarstad & Sisk, From War to Democracy, 105–33.

C. Manning 2004. ‘Armed opposition groups into political parties: comparing Bosnia, Kosovo, and Mozambique’, Studies in Comparative International Development 39, 1: 54.

C. Manning 2007. ‘Party-building on the heels of war: El Salvador, Bosnia, Kosovo and Mozambique’, Democratization 14, 2: 253–72.

A. Mehler 2009. ‘Peace and power sharing in Africa: a not so obvious relationship’, African Affairs 108, 432: 453–73.

M. Söderberg Kovacs 2008. ‘When rebels change their stripes: armed insurgents in post-war politics’, in Jarstad & Sisk, From War to Democracy, 134–56.

C. L. Sriram 2008. Peace and Governance: power-sharing, armed groups and contemporary peace negotiations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

D. Tull & A. Mehler 2005. ‘The hidden costs of power-sharing: reproducing insurgent violence in Africa’, African Affairs 104, 416: 375–98.

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The Journal of Modern African Studies
  • ISSN: 0022-278X
  • EISSN: 1469-7777
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-modern-african-studies
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