Research and Papers


Legislative Development in Africa: Politics and Colonial Legacies  (Under production, Cambridge University Press — due 2019)


Peer Reviewed Papers

  1. Opalo, Ken Ochieng’. “Constrained Presidential Power in Africa? The Politics of Executive Rule-Making in Kenya, 1963-2013” forthcoming British Journal of Political Science (Data is a available at Harvard Dataverse. Here is a primer on Statutory Instruments in Kenya)
  2. Opalo, Ken Ochieng’. 2014. “The Long Road to Institutionalization: The Kenyan Legislature and The 2013 Elections,” Journal of Eastern African Studies, Vol. 8, No. 1
  3. Opalo, Ken Ochieng’. 2012. “African Elections: Two Divergent Trends,” Journal of Democracy, Vol. 23, No. 3

Submitted Papers & Book Chapters

  1. Legislative Independence and Incumbent Electoral Advantage: Evidence From Parliamentary Elections in Kenya (submitted)
  2. “The Institutional Evolution of the Kenyan Legislature” Book Chapter — Submitted to the Oxford Handbook of Kenyan Politics; Nicholas Cheeseman, Karuti Kanyinga, Gabrielle Lynch (eds). 
  3. “The Politics of Legislative Development in Africa” Book Chapter  — Submitted to the Routledge Handbook of Democratization in Africa; Peter VonDoepp, Gabrielle Lynch (eds).

Working Papers

  1. The Effect of Political Campaigns in Multi-ethnicSocieties: Evidence from a Natural Experiment (with Leonardo Arriola, Danny Choi, and Matthew Gichohi)
  2. Political Incentives for Education Reform in Tanzania — with James Habyarimana and Youdi Schipper (Working Paper)
  3. Electricity Provision and Tax Mobilization in Africa — with Moussa Blimpo, Justice Mensah and Ruifan Shi (World Bank Policy Research Working Paper)
  4. Who Pays for Development? Economic Geography and Distributive Politics in Africa (Working Paper)
  5. Piloting Democracy: Suffrage Limitation and Democratic Consolidation in the First Wave (Working Paper)
  6. Ethnicity and Elite Coalitions: The Origins of Political Instability in Africa (Working Paper)

Other Writings:

2018: Institutions and the 2017 Elections in Kenya, Current History, Vol. 117, No. 799

2017. Making Sense of Kenyan Supreme Court’s Annulment of Presidential Election, Washington Post (Monkey Cage Blog)

2017. “The Contingent Role of Political Parties in Transitional Justice Processes,” in Duthie, Roger and Paul Seils (eds) JUSTICE MOSAICS: How Context Shapes Transitional Justice in Fractured Societies

2015. Five Things You Need to Know About the Political Crisis in Burundi, Washington Post (Monkey Cage Blog)

2014. The Politics of Term Limits in Africa, Washington Post (Monkey Cage Blog)

2014. Silver Lining in Burkina Faso Coup, Foreign Policy

2014. Kenya’s Contentious Factional Politics, Foreign Policy (with Ngala Chome)

2010. The Ogaden Region: A Fragile Path to Peace, Africa Portal