Keynote speaker, Albie Sachs, retired South African Constitutional Court judge The Twelfth Annual EISA Symposium 2017

State capture as an obstacle to democratic consolidation in Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa

28-29 November 2017


State Capture in Africa: Old Threats, New Packaging

Papers presented (Meirotti, M & Masterson, G (eds) 2018 State Capture in Africa: Old Threats, New Packaging)
Proceedings Report
Concept Note


'State capture' is a concept that has received extensive attention principally in the post-communist states of Eastern Europe and Latin America, but has also found its way into South African political discourse in recent years. Rasma Karklins defines state capture as "systematic high level political corruption that establishes a hidden political regime at odds with the constitutional purpose of state institutions" State 'captors' essentially influence how the rules are formed - encoding advantages for themselves in the legal and regulatory structure of the state. The World Bank notes that this subversion or even replacement of legitimate and transparent channels of political influence can be undertaken by private interests or political leaders.

Participant at the Twelfth Annual EISA Symposium 2017

Almost 30 years on from what Samuel Huntington referred to as the 'third wave of democratisation', a significant number of countries in the African region will be holding their sixth or seventh multiparty election in the coming years. Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Rwanda, Algeria and Zimbabwe are among the countries due to hold national elections in the coming years. It is notable that all these countries are governed by parties that emerged from liberation movements and have been in power for the decades since independence. The increase in regular and relatively peaceful elections in Africa over the past three decades has been encouraging Twelfth Annual EISA Symposium 2017for democracy; however several indicators suggest that democratic consolidation may not be a certain outcome of elections.

The Twelfth Annual EISA Symposium will be conducted over two days with the intention of developing policy-oriented recommendations that are aim to shape the future direction of and contribute to the consolidation of democracy in Africa.

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