Democracy Paradox
Democracy Paradox
Jun 21, 2022
Rachel Beatty Riedl on Benin. Democracy in Hard Places.
Play • 47 min

So, at some level, a belief in democracy was necessary in Benin as in elsewhere. Support for it - Absolutely. But what's interesting in the Benin case is that you were lacking that level of political elite leadership that were committed democratic ideologues.

Rachel Beatty Riedl

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A full transcript is available at

Rachel Beatty Riedl is the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies, Director of the Einaudi Center for International Studies, and professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University. She also cohosts the podcast Ufahamu Africa with Kim Yi Dionne. Her chapter "Africa’s Democratic Outliers Success amid Challenges in Benin and South Africa" appears in the forthcoming book Democracy in Hard Places.

Key Highlights

  • Details the story of Benin's democratization
  • How Benin has used consensus to govern
  • What makes Benin a democracy in a hard place
  • An overview of the current President Patrice Talon
  • Current threats to democracy in Benin

Key Links

Learn more about the Einaudi Center for International Studies

Listen to the Ufahamu Podcast

Follow Rachel Beatty Riedl on Twitter @BeattyRiedl

Democracy in Hard Places edited by Scott Mainwaring and Tarek Masoud

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