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Our mission

The Institute was established in 2017 to conduct research into the factors that strengthen and sustain democracy across Africa. Our research focuses on three broad topics. First, we are concerned with effective and predictable political (including judicial) institutions. This entails research on institutions of representation and accountability, focusing on issues such as constitutional design, legislatures, courts, rights, political parties, sub-national government and bureaucracy. Secondly, we are concerned with the factors that encourage an active and critical citizenry. This involves research into, inter alia, public opinion, political activism and the media. Thirdly, we examine the effects of public policies on social and economic dimensions of citizenship as well as its political and civil dimensions, including through economic growth, social welfare (including health care) and the regulation of everyday life (including family life). We are dedicated to the critical reexamination of democracy in Africa and the development of Africa-centric theory through systematic empirical research and a critical engagement with scholarship on other parts of the world.