Democracy in Question: Ken Opalo on the Prospects of Democracy Across Africa

The latest episode of the Democracy in Question podcast, hosted by Central European University (CEU) President and Rector, Shalini Randeria, features Ken Opalo, assistant professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

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." 

In this episode, "Ken Opalo on the Prospects of Democracy Across Africa" published March 1, Randeria and her guest explore 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.

For each episode of Democracy in Question, Randeria invites a leading scholar or public figure to explore the challenges and dilemmas facing democracies around the world. Listen to the trailer and subscribe here.

Series six of Democracy in Question is produced in partnership with the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy at the Graduate Institute in Geneva (AHCD) where Randeria is a Senior Fellow. ACHD and the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna co-produced seasons one and two of the podcast.