Nic Cheeseman

Why anti-corruption campaigns are bad for democracy

Such campaigns can draw attention to the widespread presence of the very behaviour they are trying to stamp out — and subconsciously encourage people to view it as appropriate

Why we must fight to secure places for more women and young people in politics

Too often, governments talk the talk on gender equality, but fail to walk the walk

Campaigning together, but on their own

Social media is driving a new – largely anonymous – form of protest in Zimbabwe and Zambia

What is happening in Mali is a coup. We must call it that

Zimbabwe called its coup a military-assisted transition to sidestep sanctions. Mali is doing the same. But failing to call power grabs by their name makes it harder to defend democracy

State of democracy in Africa: Changing leaders doesn’t change politics

The Bertelsmann Transformation Index Africa Report 2020, A Changing of the Guards or A Change of Systems?, suggests that we should be cautious about the prospects for rapid political improvements

Lies, damn lies and WhatsApp: Why it pays to listen to political rumours in Zim

The rumour mill can shape politics — and reveal uncomfortable truths

Why some anti-corruption campaigns make people more likely to pay a bribe

The reason may be that the messages reinforce popular perceptions that corruption is pervasive and insurmountable. In doing so, they encourage apathy and acceptance rather than inspire activism

Is WhatsApp shaping democracy in Africa?

A study shows that the social messaging platform is both emancipatory and destructive, particularly during election campaigns

Oxford’s position on Rhodes Must Fall is bad politics — and even worse history

It is misleading to use Nelson Mandela’s name to defend the Cecil John Rhodes statue

End the pandemic of violence against women activists

In countries such as Uganda, Zimbabwe and Egypt female champions are beaten up, sexually abused, jailed and even "disappeared"

The pandemic is being used to erode democratic freedoms. Civil society must fight back

Both authoritarian and democratic governments are responding to the coronavirus crisis by instituting frightening new powers

Why courts can’t save democracy in Africa

Recent judgments in Kenya and Malawi are encouraging. But democratic reform is impossible unless presidents and electoral commissions play their part

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