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Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2006/2007 Research Topic: 4-04
Reconsidering Personal Rulership in Sub-Saharan Africa


Even now in 2006, a decade and a half after the beginning of democratization in Sub-Saharan Africa, researchers on African politics still hesitate to declare that democratic transitions have been successfully completed in the countries of this area. Taking recourse to notions such as "semi-democracies" and "semi-authoritarianism," scholars of comparative politics have been trying to highlight the coexistence of "democratized" institutional procedures and "undemocratic" behavior among political classes. This clearly shows the ambivalent and hybrid nature of African political regimes, on which further investigation should emphasize. Hoping to respond to this problematic, we planed this research project focusing on the rulership of the heads of state in African countries. We don't intend here to typify African heads of state as personal rulers or not. The notion of personal rule is merely a catalytic one, by which we can make use of earlier arguments, such as on the style and basis of ruling. The topics that are expected to be investigated are: the methods, instruments, and process of accumulating power; relationship with political and administrative institutions; the role of inner circles; the effect of legitimating ideology and international support. The final outcome of this project will be published in 2007.


April 2005 - March 2007


Members of the Research Project

SATO Akira
ENDO Mitsugi (Assistant Professor, Tokyo University)
MAJIMA Ichiro (Assistant Professor, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
OCHIAI Takehiko (Assistant Professor, Ryukoku University)
KURIMOTO Eisei (Professor, Osaka University)