The Elgar Companion to Post-Conflict Transition
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The Elgar Companion to Post-Conflict Transition

Edited by Hans-Joachim Giessmann, Roger Mac Ginty, Beatrix Austin and Christine Seifert

What are the main drivers of political transition and regime change? And to what extent do these apparently seismic political changes result in real change? These questions are the focus of this comparative study written by a mix of scholars and practitioners. This state-of-the-art volume identifies patterns in political transitions, but is largely unconvinced that these transitions bring about real change to the underlying structures of society. Patriarchy, land tenure, and economic systems often remain immune to change, despite the headlines.
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Chapter 10: Burkina Faso

Bettina Engels

Abstract

The latest regime change in Burkina Faso is analysed in the context of the political history of the country since the 1960s and of the recent struggles over democracy, socioeconomic inequality and state power in many African countries. The political history of Burkina Faso since decolonisation was characterised by a series of strikes, military coups and changes in the leadership of the state until Blaise Compaoré took presidency in 1987. Pressure from civil society on Compaoré had been growing steadily since the early 1990s to reach its preliminary peak in the protests of 2013–2014, which, together with turmoil within in the military and internal power struggles of the ruling party, led to his forced resignation. The chapter outlines the factors that triggered the fall of Compoaré, namely the role of the military and the reactions of civil society groups, and discusses the lessons learned from the case study.

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