Episode 165: Exploring the Coups in Africa with Professor Nic Cheeseman

Since the 1950s, there have been at least 106 coups in Africa, and even more unsuccessful attempts.

In recent years, Africa has been marked by a series of political upheavals, with coups emerging as a recurring theme across the continent. Coups in Gabon, Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Chad, Mali, Sudan, and several other countries have shaken the continent and raised fears of inspiring and emboldening military groups in neighbouring states. These coups reflect a complex interplay of historical legacies, socio-economic challenges, political dynamics unique to each country, as well as a significant number of international risks. Frustrations over corruption, economic inequality, and governance failures have often fuelled popular discontent, providing fertile ground for military or civilian actors to seize power through force and to tell us more about this worrying trend, and the risks associated with it, we are thrilled to be joined by Professor Nic Cheeseman

Nic is Professor of Democracy at the University of Birmingham, and the Director of the Centre for Elections, Democracy, Accountability and Representation (CEDAR). He was formerly the Director of the African Studies Centre at the University of Oxford. Dr Cheeseman mainly works on democracy, elections and development, including a range of topics including as election rigging, political campaigning, corruption, “fake news” and presidential rule.

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