Martin van Vliet

Martin van Vliet (1979) studied Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at the University of Leiden. He wrote a master thesis on the implementation of Mali's decentralization process from a cultural perspective.

In 2004, he joined the Netherlands Institute for Multi-Party Democracy (NIMD), an institute set-up by Dutch political parties that supports political actors in young democracies. He manages party support programmes in Mali and Zambia and contributes to the development of more generic Africa oriented political party support strategies and policies. Of particular interests is the complex interplay between informal networks, elite interests and institution building in African young democracies. He co-edited and wrote the Zambian chapter of the NIMD handbook "Writing Autobiographies of nations: a comparative analysis of constitutional reform processes (2009).'

Early 2009, he received a small fund from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to initiate a PHD research project within the context of the IS-Academy, on a part-time basis, focusing on different aspects of the democratization process in Mali. Based on eight years of regular research periods in and working visits to Mali, his study addresses the changes in local accountability mechanisms subsequent to the introduction of local elections, the contribution of Malian Members of Parliament in shaping accountability, the role of political parties and the upcoming constitutional reform process in strengthening accountability. He strives to move beyond universalistic approaches to political processes in Africa as well as the influential (rather one-dimensional) neo-patrimonial paradigm and to come up with empirically based studies on different aspects of Mali's democratic consolidation process. He is also a member of various committees formulating suggestions on the future of Dutch development policies and regularly advises Dutch members of Parliament on political developments in Africa.

Affiliate member
African Studies Centre
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