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The present study deals with the issue of “political violence” in West African and the role of parliamentarians and political parties in effectively preventing or managing it.
The study looks at various manifestations of political violence in the region and considers the main explanatory factors of their occurrence or escalation. A synthesis of the main causes of political violence in the region is provided in a specific section, while the country studies provide illustrations of the theoretical explanations in this section. It is through a consistent attempt to contextualise the various cases of political violence in the five country studies and a special box on Côte d’Ivoire that the reader can clearly appreciate the causes and explanatory factors of these incidents of political violence.
The study takes a closer look at national parliaments and political parties in the region in view of identifying and analysing their usefulness, challenges and bottlenecks they face in dealing with political violence. The role of other change agents, such as civil society organisations, research institutions, traditional and religious leaders, is also pondered, particularly as far as they contribute to the prevention and management of political violence.