chapter  2
55 Pages

The regional context

Before one can analyse the manipulative efforts and the mechanisms of control that the dominant party deploys to achieve and secure its dominance, it is necessary to take stock of the institutional resources and constraints confronting political actors, analyse the nature and composition of the electorate in terms of the distribution and importance of the relevant cleavages in the two respective societies, and outline the main ‘players’ in party competition. This chapter delineates the two regional contexts, their institutional set-up, socio-structural characteristics, and the make-up of their respective party systems in terms of their main components, viz. the dominant party and major opposition parties.