I am a PhD student at the Department of Political Studies and a graduate researcher at the Institute of Democracy, Citizenship and Public Policy in Africa (IDCPPA) and Afrobarometer. My research focuses primarily on political parties and judicial politics in Africa.
I study Comparative Politics and Political Behavior, focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, I am interested in the challenges of how citizens engage with political parties and government bureaucracies.
A second stream of research assesses judicial power in Africa and implications for citizens’ perception of the courts on the one hand, and the quality of elections on the other.
Title and Summary of PhD Project
The Topography of Democratic Accountability: The Role of Political Parties in good basic service delivery to the poor in Africa
The central argument that is advanced in the dissertation is that citizens’ satisfaction with service delivery depends on political parties acting as effective and efficient ‘conveyor belts’ of information between citizens and the state.
The strength of the internal vertical linkages between party brokers, elected officials, and party leadership are crucial for the functioning of the conveyor belt. Strong vertical linkages also mean that parties can develop issue competency and communicate this to citizens coherently across the various levels. Moreover, I argue that the conveyor belt is more likely to work if parties operate in a competitive electoral environment, and for community level services such as education and health care, rather than household level services (e.g. electricity, water and sanitation).
- The Consequences of Partisanship in Africa: Cognitive Lens or Tribal Straitjacket?, with Robert Mattes, 2020, Research Handbook on Political Partisanship
- Do Electoral Systems Affect How Citizens Hold Their Government Accountable? Evidence from Africa, with Sarah J. Lockwood, 2018, Afrobarometer Working Paper No. 181
- Democratic dividend: The Road to Quality Education in Africa, with Lulu Olan’g, 2020, Afrobarometer Policy Paper No. 63.
- Bounded Autonomy: What Limits Zimbabweans’ Trust in their Courts and Electoral Commission?, 2018, Afrobarometer Policy Paper No. 52.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“If you would continue to do your job for free, you are in the right place.”