Conference name, dates, place

Third International Conference on Development Studies in Ethiopia, June 18-19, 2005, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Document Type


Presentation Date



This paper thus addresses two primary issues. What is the relationship between the types of electoral systems that have been used to govern initial elections in the democratizing states of Africa and the degree to which party systems volatility has emerged? What other factors impact on the levels of volatility? I examine the above questions using data from 31 African countries. I find that most of the factors often cited as impacting on party systems development do not account for the level of legislative volatility. However, the dominance of the ruling party in the first election following democratic transition does impact the extent of legislative volatility later. Nonetheless these cases are also less likely to lead to democratic or politically stable outcomes.