Zimbabwe: An Opportunity Lost

January 2019

Zimbabwe’s first elections since the November 2017 coup that ousted nonagenarian dictator Robert Mugabe were marred by the abuse of state resources, electoral irregularities, and a tragic bout of postelection violence that saw soldiers use deadly force against civilians.


Has Liberia Turned a Corner?

July 2018

The retirement of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and George Weah’s election as her successor open a new chapter for a country that has made great strides since its brutal civil war, but where progress remains tenuous.


Kenya’s Electoral Misfire

April 2018

Sophisticated technology could not keep Kenya’s August 2017 presidential election from leading to renewed ethnic tensions and a painful standoff from which the country appears only now to be emerging. What went wrong?


The Rise of Kleptocracy: Autocrats versus Activists in Africa

January 2018

Central African autocrats are using their stolen money to outmaneuver their opponents and deflect international criticism.


Elections in the Hardest Places: The Case of Somalia

October 2017

Is pressing a troubled, intensely fragile “postconflict” country to hold elections a good idea? Somalia did so in late 2016 and early 2017, and the process was not pretty. But was it better than the alternative?