Hilton Hotel, Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa
18-19 November 2013
Pre-electoral alliances and post-election coalitions of political parties have become an increasingly significant feature of contemporary African politics. A study of this political phenomenon is important to an understanding of election dynamics and government formation politics in Africa. It is encouraging to note that in the past decade there has been a relative increase in studies devoted to alliances and coalitions in Africa. In spite of this increase, various aspects of this political phenomenon are still largely under studied. The majority of studies look at the causes of alliances and coalitions (Karume 2003; Kapa 2008) and only a few have tried to explain the effects on the political, party and democratic systems of African countries. On the other hand, coalition theories have their roots mainly in the experiences of Western European countries and therefore tend to focus excessively on post-election coalitions. Yet, in Africa, pre-electoral alliances occur nearly as frequently as post-election coalitions.