Ainara Mancebo

Ainara Mancebo
Research Scholar
Comparative Democracy
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I am a political scientist passionate about democracy theory and praxis. Two relevant academic aspects of my MSc and PhD are democracy and the use of comparative approach. My research focuses on comparative democratization, relating to institutional change, party systems and party behavior in emerging democracies. In understanding the problems of democratic consolidation and state-building and the sustainability of party competition, as well as the various motivations of the political actors engaged in the process of institutional design. I completed my MSc and PhD in political science and public administration at the National Long Learning University (UNED Spain). Likewise, I received a BA in journalism from the University of Ramon Llull (Spain), a BA(Hons) in contemporary history from University of Salamanca (Spain) and a postgraduate degree on external relations of the European Union from Université Libre de Bruxelles/James Madison College (Belgium). The main focus of my current research is to examine party behavior in legislative institutions. My scholarly work and multidisciplinary academic foundation are complemented by my professional background as journalist, lecturer and public affairs consultant, in Spain, France, US and South Africa.

Description of Current Research Topics:

  • Investigation of the capacity of the legislatures to hold the government to account. In the midst of a variety political crisis and constant decline of electoral turnout, the effectiveness of legislatures to constrain governments depends more often on the centrality of parliament in the political system. 
  • Research on populism and parliamentary opposition parties about the impact of populism on emergent democracies that focuses on what populists do, instead of what populists say. An analysis that takes into account the actual behaviour of populist parties in the legislative institutions. Addressing the question of whether the populist parties behave differently from other political parties in opposition at parliament.

Recent Indexed Journal Publications:

(2023) Mancebo, Ainara. "Populism and parliamentary opposition parties: The Economic Freedom Fighters Party Behaviour in the South African Parliament". The Journal of Legislative Studies.

(2021) Mancebo, Ainara. "South African Opposition Party Behaviour Under the National State of Disaster to Respond to the Covid-19 Pandemic". Politikon.

(2020) Mancebo, Ainara. "Stability and Governability the Benign Effects of Party Dominance in South Africa". Insight on Africa, Vol 13: 56-75.

(2019) Mancebo, Ainara. "Parties' motivations for electoral reform under the democratic transition in South Africa". Revista Española de Ciencia Política.

Recent Papers presented at International Congresses:

(2023) 94th Southern Political Science Association- Annual Conference: "The role of legislatures to address the challenges of representation and legitimation in emergent democracies with a case study of South Africa”, Florida-USA.

(2021) 26th World Congress of Political Science-IPSA: New Populism in the South African Parliament. Lisbo-Portugal. 

(2019) 8th European Conference on African Studies: Gobernability, stability and legitimacy in party systems. Edinburgh-UK.

(2018) 25th World Congress of Political Science-IPSA: Party dominance system in the South African emerging democracy to transform the society. Brisbane-Australia.

Other online publications

(2023) The Loop ECPR's Political Science Blog: "South Africa’s populist EFF stirs up parliamentary affairs"

Political Science and Public Administration