Policy Brief - Personal Rule and the Convergence of Governance - By Hisham Aidi
3 March 2023
As political scientists Jackson and Rosberg wrote almost four decades ago in a survey of personal rule in Africa: “Personal rule is an elitist political system composed of the privileged and powerful few in which the many are usually unmobilized, unorganized, and therefore relatively powerless to command the attention and action of government.”3 The academic consensus has long been that personal r. [...] The emergence of personalist rule in the 1950s was partly due to the geopolitical environment of the Cold War, and the exigencies of post-colonial state building which often required a centralized rule.6 Since the 1970s, political scientists have argued that that personal rule is a losing political gambit, as leaders who do not face institutional constraints from a political party or military body. [...] In The End of Power (2016), he observes, “Dictators, plutocrats, corporate behemoths, and the leaders of the great religions will continue to be an important feature of the global landscape and the defining factor in the lives of billions of people. [...] Thus, recent research suggests that the revival and spread of personal politics “might very well be a product of learning among like-minded authoritarian leaders.”11 These concepts that attempt to elucidate the international and transnational dimensions of authoritarianism in Africa and the Middle East, can explain the stalled democratic transitions of Tunisia and Sudan. [...] About the Policy Center for the New South The Policy Center for the New South (PCNS) is a Moroccan think tank aiming to contribute to the improvement of economic and social public policies that challenge Morocco and the rest of Africa as integral parts of the global South.