This book examines the effects of ethnicity on party politics in sub-Saharan Africa. Sebastian Elischer analyzes political parties in Ghana, Kenya and Namibia in detail, and provides a preliminary analysis of parties in seven other countries including Tanzania, Botswana, Senegal, Zambia, Malawi, Burkina Faso and Benin. Elischer finds that five party types exist: the mo-ethnic, the ethnic alliance, the catch-all, the programmatic, and the personalistic party. He uses these party types to show that the African political landscape is considerably more diverse than conventionally assumed. Whereas ethnic parties dominate in some countries, n-ethnic parties have become the rm in others. This study also finds a correlation between a country's ethnic make-up and the salience of political ethnicity: countries with a core ethnic group are prone to form n-ethnic parties. In countries lacking a core ethnic group, ethnic parties constitute the rm.
Sebastian Elischer is Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics at Leuphana University, Luneburg and the GIGA Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg.