African State Governance: Subnational Politics and National Power

A. Carl LeVan, Joseph Olayinka Fashagba, and Edward McMahon (eds)

This book offers a comprehensive picture of state and local legislative politics in Africa and a detailed examination of formal and informal political authority in the continent’s states, provinces and counties. It considers the pace and changing nature of African federalism – identifying a variety of subnational institutions emerging as centers of policy control – and asks the key questions: how do state legislatures affect the balance of power between governors and the national executive? What influences state-level budgetary control? Given recent decentralization and various political reforms, what is a state legislature? How will Africa’s new oil discoveries impact distributive politics? The book explores how executive-legislative relations often differ across levels of government, even where the party system otherwise seems similar, and argues that these differences are not simply the result of limited resources or experience, but due to misaligned institutional incentives. Chapters on Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and South Africa fill an important gap in comparative institutional research about state and local politics, and consider how identified trends could lead either to the promotion of democratic reform – or the consolidation of illiberal local politicians and ‘godfathers’ in Africa.


Book Contents:
Introduction: Subnational Legislative Politics and African Democratic Development; A. Carl LeVanPART I: NIGERIA IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
1. Lessons in Fiscal Federalism for Africa’s New Oil Exporters; Rotimi T. Suberu
2. Taxation and Determinants of Legislative Representation in Africa; Olufunmbi Elemo
3. Subnational Legislatures and National Governing Institutions in Nigeria, 1999-2014; Joseph Olayinka Fashagba
4. Executive Dominance or Subnational Democratization? State and National-Level Institutions Compared; Yahaya T. Baba

5. Devolution Under Kenya’s 2010 Constitutional Dispensation; Westen Shilaho
6. Central Control and Regional States’ Autonomy in Ethiopia; Solomon Gofie
7. Provincial Governance and Party Competition in Post-Apartheid South Africa; Majuta Judas Mamogale
Conclusion: Subnational Politics and National Power in Africa; Joseph Olayinka Fashagba and Edward R. McMahon


A. Carl LeVan is Assistant Professor at American University and the author of Dictators and Democracy in African Development: the Political Economy of Good Governance in Nigeria. His research focuses on comparative political institutions, democratization, African security, and authoritarianism.

Joseph Fashagba is Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Political Science and International Relations at Landmark University, Nigeria since 2012. He co-edited a book with Professor Rotimi Ajayi entitled Understanding Government and Politics in Nigeria in 2014.

Edward McMahon is Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Vermont and the co-author of Piecing a Democratic Quilt: Universal Norms and Regional Organizations.

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