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Ashiabi, M.A. Eric Elikem

Portrait Eric Elikem Ashiabi
ashiabielikem77 [at]
Areas of research:
Opposition political parties and electoral reforms; Cross-border ethnic groups, contested citizenship and national identity; Social Cohesion
Regional focus:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Since 2023
PhD Candidate in Political Science, Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Germany
2018 - 2019
MA Development and Governance, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
2012 - 2016
BA Political Science with Archeology, University of Ghana, Ghana
Professional experience:
02/2022 - 04/2023
Project Manager, Nkabom ein Krankenhaus für Ghana e.V, Geilenkirchen, Germany
05/2021 - 05/2022
Research Fellow, Beyond Borders Programme, Zeit-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, Hamburg, Germany
06/2021 - 12/2021
Junior Officer for Resilient Development, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, Bonn, Germany
11/2019 - 04/2020
Freelance Consulting Expert, Social Cohesion in Africa Project, German Institute of Development and Sustainability, Bonn, Germany
08/2017 - 03/2018
Research Officer, TEERE, Bolgatanga, Ghana
Ph.D. Thesis
Working title:
“Winners and Losers of Electoral Reforms in Africa: Why Do Opposition Parties Participate in Post-Reform Elections?"

The concept of electoral reforms is a paradox – supposed to increase fairness in elections but can be misused to achieve the opposite. Though electoral reforms connote legal changes to electoral laws that serve as basis for future elections in the process of democratization, electoral reforms could also afford autocrats the opportunity to tighten their grip on political power in the process of autocratization. Especially in developing countries, electoral reforms are seen as a means of defeating opposition parties even before the elections are held.

My research seeks to ascertain the veracity of the claim that opposition parties are the losers of electoral reforms in Africa by answering the question “how often and after what kind of reforms have opposition parties lost post-electoral-reform elections in Africa since 1990?” and “what motives underpin opposition party elites’ participation in post-electoral reform elections?” To answer the first question, I draw on a panel data analysis of electoral reforms after the transition elections in African countries.

To answer the second question, I conduct a small-N qualitative comparison using data from elite interviews of opposition parties in two-party and pluralised party systems that participated in post-electoral reform elections. Based on the existing literature, my initial hypotheses are that opposition party leaders participate in post-electoral reform elections (i) to be in position to benefit from reformers’ miscalculations, (ii) to please their support base, (iii) to be able to also reform the electoral system should they win and/or (iv) because they identify with reformers’ values.


Selected Publications

Ashiabi, Eric Elikem (2021). Political Vigilantism in Ghana’s Democratic Consolidation: a Democracy in Need of a Critical Mass to Redirect Political Behaviour And Actor Choices. African Studies Quarterly, 20 (1).

Ashiabi, Eric E. & Avea, Avea P. (2019). The Absence of a Disability Measurement System in the Disbursement of the District Assembly Common Fund for Persons with Disabilities in Ghana: How the Most Vulnerable are Denied Access. Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal,15 (4).