A to Zoning of African Politics

Oxford University Press has published a new Dictionary of African Politics that puts together a lexicon of African political terms. Besides some difficult academic concepts like neo-patrimonialism, it also include the following:

Zoning: A Nigerian expression to describe the practice of alternating the presidency between the northern and southern parts of the country.

Skirt and Blouse Voting: A Kenyan expression to split one’s presidential and legislative votes between different parties.

Glissement: The French word “to slide” was used by Congolese to describe their president’s habit of “sliding” past election dates and holding onto power without going to the ballot.

Watermelon Politics: A Zambian expression for someone who declares for one party but is, secretly, loyal to another to avoid reprisals.



March 28, 2019

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About the Author

Pramit Pal Chaudhury

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Foreign Editor, Hindustan Times, and Distinguished Fellow & Head, Strategic Affairs, Ananta Aspen Centre

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri writes on political, security, and economic issues. He previously wrote for the Statesman and the Telegraph in Calcutta. He served on the National Security Advisory Board of the Indian government from 2011-2015. Among other affiliations, he is a member of the Asia Society Global Council, the Aspen Institute Italia, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, and the Mont Pelerin Society. Pramit is also a senior associate of Rhodium Group, New York City, advisor to the Bower Group Asia in India, a member of the Council on Emerging Markets, Washington, DC, and a delegate for the Confederation of Indian Industry-Aspen Strategy Group Indo-U.S. Strategic Dialogue and the Ananta Aspen Strategic Dialogues with Japan, China and Israel. Born in 1964, he has visited over fifty countries on five continents. Mr. Pal Chaudhuri is a history graduate from Cornell University.