Nic Cheeseman,

Nic Cheeseman

United Kingdom

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  • Unknown
  • Washington Post
  • Foreign Policy
  • M&G Africa
  • African Arguments
  • openDemocracy

Past articles by Nic:

Africa: Democracy in Africa - Success Stories That Have Defied All the Odds

Analysis - When I first said that I was going to write a book about the history of democracy in Africa, quite a few people responded with a joke. That will be one of the world's shortest books, up there with the compendium of great English cooking, they would say. → Read More

Africa: New Dictionary Provides Nuanced Insights Into the Language of African Politics

Analysis - Every country has its own political language. These terms and phrases that have developed over time give distinctive meanings that may not be fully understood by outsiders. Unless we learn them, we may miss critical information about how politics really works. → Read More

Africa: Both Democracy and Authoritarianism Are On the Rise in Africa

Analysis - Is democracy in Africa in retreat? Or is it simply suffering "growing pains"? The last 12 months have seen a great deal of controversy and debate on these important questions. → Read More

Africa: Why There's a Case for Giving Foreign Aid to Authoritarian Regimes

Analysis - Should democracies give foreign aid to countries that are not democracies? Democratic aid donors don't have enough money to do all the things they want to in the world, so they need to find ways to decide how to ration aid. This means that not choosing to give their taxpayers' hard earned money to authoritarian governments might seem like an easy decision. → Read More

The politics of fear in the new Zimbabwe

The threat of "subtle violence" is undermining a planned election. → Read More

How to Steal an Election in Broad Daylight

Autocrats and counterfeit democrats have perfected the art of rigging polls to stay in power — without breaking any laws. → Read More

Africa: Why Rwanda's Development Model Wouldn't Work Elsewhere in Africa

Analysis - Rwanda is often touted as an example of what African states could achieve if only they were better governed. Out of the ashes of a horrific genocide, President Paul Kagame has resuscitated the economy, curtailed corruption and maintained political stability. → Read More

Africa: You Can Get Away With Murder If You're Polite

Analysis - The last twelve months have been a confusing time for African democracy. We have seen coups that didn't look like coups and elections that didn't look like elections. In this sense, it was a year of illusions. → Read More

Zimbabwe: Will Mnangagwa Usher in a New Democracy? the View From Zimbabwe

Analysis - Zimbabwe has a new leader. Robert Mugabe is out. His former ally turned rival, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is in. What now? → Read More

It’s time for international election monitors to start doing their job

African voters are right to be angry. → Read More

Africa: Democratic Breakthroughs in Africa

Analysis - There is much to celebrate as the world marks International Day of Democracy. The last year has seen important democratic breakthroughs in Africa. In Gambia an entrenched autocrat was forced from power. In Ghana, a sitting president lost an election for the first time. → Read More

The high stakes in Kenya’s knife-edge election

African elections are often competitive -- but also dangerously polarized. → Read More

Kenyatta or Odinga? Why dynastic politics is alive and well in Kenya

Some complain that the differences between Kenyatta and Odinga are more rhetorical than real, but Kenyans have a real choice to make at the ballot box → Read More

Kenyatta vs. Odinga: A study in contrasts

Ahead of Kenya’s elections, the opposition stalwart is promising to shake things up, while the incumbent vows to protect the status quo. Kenya’s general election will be contested by a large number of hopefuls, but in reality it’s a two-horse race between Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance and President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party. Unsurprisingly in a country in which the… → Read More

Zambia's Authoritarianism Deepens, Emboldened By IMF Support

Analysis - An opposition leader in jail. 48 MPs suspended. A $1.2 billion IMF package on the way. → Read More

Zambia's authoritarianism deepens, emboldened by IMF support

An opposition leader in jail. 48 MPs suspended. A $1.2 billion IMF package on the way. The speaker of the Zambian National Assembly, Patrick Matibini, has suspended 48 opposition legislators for 30 days as a punishment for unauthorised absence from parliament. Their offence? To have been missing for President Edgar Lungu’s state of the nation address in March. The suspension of the MPs does not… → Read More

Zambia slides towards authoritarianism as IMF props up government

There are fears that Zambia is slipping into authoritarian rule under President Edgar Lungu. → Read More

Kenya: Four Ways the Kenyan Elections Could Be Rigged

Analysis - The race for State House in Kenya is heating up. After a long period during which President Uhuru Kenyatta looked a shoo-in for re-election, the presidential race is looking increasingly competitive. → Read More

Democracy is taking root in Africa. But that doesn’t mean it works all the time

Democracy is taking root in Africa. But that doesn’t mean it works all the time → Read More

Zambia: We Need to Talk About Zambia As It Falls From Grace Under President Lungu

Analysis - Zambia has often been ignored by the international media. One reason for this neglect is that it's been comparatively unexceptional, on a continent with more than its fair share of extremes. → Read More