Wednesday, January 30, 2013
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Where: 620 Library Place, Program of African Studies, Conference Room, Evanston, IL 60208 map it
Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public
Group: Program of African Studies
Category: Lectures & Meetings
PAS Affiliates Series
Associational Life and Democratic Consolidation in Ghana
Richard Asante, Political Science, University of Ghana and PAS Mellon Visiting Scholar
Abstract: It is argued that membership or participation in voluntary associations and social networks provides the “springboards” for cultivating a democratic political culture. Drawing on qualitative data involving in-depth interviews, participant observation and life histories as well as quantitative data from the Afrobarometer Surveys, this study explores the efficacy of different types of social networks for the promotion of a democratic political culture in Ghana’s Fourth Republic. While noting the impact of associations on Ghana’s democracy, it opines that social networks with more bridging potentials have greater capacity to develop a democratic political culture than those that are mere bonding. Thus, the study brings to the fore the importance of distinguishing between different types of associations.
Bio: Richard Asante holds a PhD degree in Political Science and a Research Fellow in the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana. He is currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Program of African Studies (PAS), Northwestern University where he is revising his dissertation, “social capital and democratic consolidation in Ghana” into a manuscript. His research interests span the political economy of African development, democratisation, and human security. His most recent publications include: 'Challenges in Democratic Local Governance in Ghana' in Mariano Pavanello (ed.) Poteri Locali Poteri Tradizionali: Decentramento, Sviluppo e Storia in Africa (Roma: Aracne, 2012) (Co-authored with Takyiwaa Manuh), and : “The Youth and the Future of Democracy in Ghana” Policy Research Series No. 3, 2012 (Accra: The Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEC).