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INVESTIGATE THE ROLE OF INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORKS IN FACILITATING POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN CAMEROON

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INVESTIGATE THE ROLE OF INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORKS IN FACILITATING POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Political participation is essential for the operation of democratic societies, as it acts as a foundation for public involvement, representation, and accountability. Institutional frameworks are the core of participation, since they control the political processes and relationships within a community(Tadadjeu, 2017). The impact of institutional frameworks on political participation has been extensively studied and discussed by scholars and policymakers. Institutions consist of a diverse range of established and unofficial regulations, processes, standards, and associations that influence the conduct of individuals and collectives within a political framework(Fonkem, 2018). The institutions include election systems, political parties, legislative bodies, legal frameworks, civil society organisations, and media structures, among several others. Each of these components has a unique function in influencing the possibilities and limitations for political engagement in a particular culture. The importance of institutional frameworks in promoting political participation lies in their ability to organise the incentives, regulations, and channels through which individuals participate in politics(Boulier & Njoh, 2020). Electoral systems govern how legislators are chosen and the level of proportionality or representation given to various political factions. Political parties function as middlemen between people and the state, playing a role in mobilising support, expressing policy preferences, and consolidating interests. Academics have extensively acknowledged the intricate relationship between the structure of institutions and the actions and attitudes of politicians. Prominent scholars like Robert Dahl (1971) and Samuel Huntington (1968) emphasised the significance of institutions in influencing the allocation of power and the operation of democratic systems. Recent study has focused on several components of institutional architecture, including the effects of election laws  (Ngwane, 2019), the importance of party systems (Tadadjeu, 2017), and the impact of media structures. Despite the considerable amount of research conducted on this topic, the connection between institutional frameworks and political engagement continues to evolve and is influenced by specific circumstances. There is a vast diversity of institutional arrangements in different nations and areas, which may be attributed to historical legacies, cultural norms, and social ideals. Furthermore, the fast rate of technical advancement and globalisation has brought up fresh obstacles and possibilities for political engagement, necessitating ongoing adjustment and restructuring of institutional structures. Given the intricacies involved, it is crucial to do further empirical study in order to enhance our understanding of how institutional frameworks influence political involvement in various settings.Therefore, the researcher sought to  investigate the role of institutional frameworks in facilitating political participation in Cameroon.

Statement of the problem

Although the significance of political participation in democratic societies is well acknowledged, there are still substantial obstacles in comprehending and improving the function of institutional frameworks in supporting such participation.Political involvement is crucial for democratic government since it encourages public participation , facilitates inclusive decision-making, and promotes responsibility within a community. It is essential to comprehend the intricacies of political involvement in Cameroon, a nation known for its varied population and intricate socio-political environment, in order to foster stability and advance democracy. Nevertheless, despite the existence of constitutional provisions and legal structures designed to guarantee citizen participation in government, there are still substantial obstacles impeding the successful political participation. Previous studies (Tadadjeu, 2017; Bouvier & Njoh, 2020) have identified several institutional factors that hinder political participation. These factors include restricted information access, entrenched corruption within institutions, unequal allocation of political resources, and obstacles faced by marginalized groups when trying to participate. In addition, the historical circumstances of authoritarian governance and concentrated power systems have fostered a culture of political indifference and disillusionment among the populace (Ngwane, 2019). Although earlier research has provided some insight into these difficulties, there is still a lack of information about the precise impact of institutional frameworks on political involvement in Cameroon, including whether they facilitate or restrict it. This study aims to fill this void by investigating the role of institutional frameworks in facilitating political participation in Cameroon.

1.3 Objectives of the study

The broad objective of the study is to investigate the role of institutional frameworks in facilitating political participation in Cameroon. The specific objectives is as follows

Investigate whether electoral systems facilitate political participation in Cameroon

Ascertain whether electoral laws and regulations facilitate political participation in Cameroon

Evaluate whether political parties facilitate political participation in Cameroon

Assess whether media structures facilitate political participation in Cameroon

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the following

Does electoral systems facilitate political participation in Cameroon?

Does  electoral laws and regulations facilitate political participation in Cameroon?

Does political parties facilitate political participation in Cameroon?

Does media structures facilitate political participation in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The findings of the study will be significant in the following ways

Findings of the study will be significant to policymakers as it will reveal the factors limiting political participation, the study aligns with core democratic values such as equality, representation, participation this research can inform policy formulation and implementation processes aimed at enhancing democratic governance and citizen participation in Cameroon.

In addition, findings of the study contributes to the existing body of literature, it will also serve as reference point for future researchers. 

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study focuses on women contributions to the political system of Cameroon. Empirically, the study will investigate whether electoral systems facilitate political participation in Cameroon, ascertain whether electoral laws and regulations facilitate political participation in Cameroon, evaluate whether political parties facilitate political participation in Cameroon and assess whether media structures facilitate political participation in Cameroon.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Definition of terms

Political Participation: Political participation refers to the various actions and activities through which individuals and groups engage in the political process, including voting in elections, joining political parties or interest groups, attending public meetings, participating in protests or demonstrations, and engaging in advocacy or lobbying efforts to influence government policies and decisions.

Institutional Frameworks: Institutional frameworks encompass the formal structures, rules, procedures, and norms that govern political, social, and economic interactions within a society.


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