I have a piece in the July issue of the Journal of Democracy emphasizing the need to focus on legislative elections just as much as presidential elections.
Reflecting the immense powers of the typical “big man” president on the Continent, many election watchers (academics, journalists and “democracy practitioners” alike) have tended to focus almost exclusively on the outcomes of presidential elections. I make the case that cleaning up the conduct of legislative elections is equally important in the quest for democratic consolidation in SSA.
I have read the book, met the author and will be writing a review soon. In the book Steven Radelet makes the important point that African countries are not born equal. About half of sub-Saharan African countries have, since the mid 1990s, have shown signs of preconditions for take off. The stars in the book are the usual suspects, Ghana, Mauritius, Botswana. The suckers are mostly Sahelian and central African.