Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Dictators and Democracy in African Development
The Political Economy of Good Governance in Nigeria

$29.99 (C)

Part of African Studies

  • Date Published: July 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107440951
Average user rating
(1 review)

$ 29.99 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • What are the conditions for good governance in Africa, and why do many democracies still struggle with persistent poverty? Drawing on a historical study of Nigeria since independence, this book argues that the structure of the policy-making process explains variations in government performance better than other commonly cited factors, such as oil, colonialism, ethnic diversity, foreign debt, and dictatorships. The author links the political structure of the policy process to patterns of government performance over half a century to show that the key factor is not simply the status of the regime as a dictatorship or a democracy, but rather it is the structure of the policy-making process by which different policy demands are included or excluded. By identifying political actors with the leverage to prevent policy change and extract concessions, empirical tests demonstrate how these “veto players” systematically affect the performance of two broad categories of public policy. This Madisonian dilemma has important implications for African countries struggling with the institutional trade-offs presented by different regimes.

    • An account of Nigeria's government record since independence
    • The author weaves together empirical analysis, narrative history, and new comparative concepts from political science
    • Uses data based on extensive field research
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "… while Levan’s original, sophisticated and dense study will mostly appeal to postgraduate students and established scholars researching Nigeria, it also has much to offer those working in the fields of democratisation and comparative politics. This is an important and commendable book."
    J. N. C. Hill, The Journal of Modern African Studies

    'Dictators and Democracy in African Development merits much praise for its concentration on veto players, which augments a critical new component to scholars’ understanding of the political economy of third world countries.' Enock Ndawana, Democratization

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    22nd Apr 2016 by Drkhan

    The thesis of the book is very much relevant in terms of African Politics and Society. It will help to understand the currents, cross currents and under currents between two established political ideologies 'Democracy and Dictatorship'. I would be writing a review of this book once it is available for inspection. Dr. Aslam Khan Associate Professor & Head YSU, Nigeria.

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107440951
    • length: 308 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus. 7 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. A theory of institutions, preferences, and performance
    2. Veto players in Nigeria's political history since independence
    3. The impact of Nigeria's veto players on local and national collective goods
    4. Analytic equivalents in Ghana and Zimbabwe
    5. Madison's model unbound.

  • Author

    A. Carl LeVan, American University, Washington DC
    A. Carl LeVan is an Assistant Professor in the School of International Service at American University, Washington DC. His research focuses on political institutions, democratization, and African security. His essays on power-sharing in East Africa, civil society in Nigeria, Boko Haram, comparative authoritarianism, and the US military's Africa Command have appeared in journals such as Governance, Africa Today, Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, and the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding. His article, 'Questioning Tocqueville in Africa', won the Frank Cass Award for Best Article in 2011 on Democratization by a Young Scholar. Recent collaborative essays examine property rights and migration in Abuja and the economic impact of cabinet size. A new collaborative project with Professor Todd Eisenstadt examines the democratizing effects of participatory constitution-making around the world. Prior to receiving his PhD in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego, he worked in the US Congress, and then served as a technical advisor to Nigeria's National Assembly. Follow him on twitter at

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.