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Benin: Challenges for Democracy

Abstract : Since 2012, political tension has threatened to undermine Benin's image as a model democracy. The President's efforts to amend the constitution to enable him to contest a third consecutive term, alongside the persecution of some of his former allies, have created a climate of political uncertainty. As a result, a wave of civic protest has gained momentum, a general strike launched in January 2014 lasted for more than four months, and the Catholic Church has broken its silence and denounced the excesses of those in power for the first time since the National Conference in 1990. This Briefing argues that these developments can be considered, on the one hand, as an extension of Benin's passive democratic revolution, a process whereby the co-option of actors from different generations and social strata – the expansion of the “politics of the belly”1 – facilitated the transition from one-party to multi-party rule. On the other hand, the highly volatile situation of the last two years could be said to mark a shift towards a more confrontational scenario of hegemonic rupture in which past agreements on how to share power are torn up by a President determined to capture all economic and political opportunities for himself...
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Submitted on : Sunday, October 24, 2021 - 12:10:13 AM
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Richard Banégas. Benin: Challenges for Democracy. African Affairs, 2014, 113 (452), pp.449 - 459. ⟨10.1093/afraf/adu043⟩. ⟨hal-03399332⟩



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