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Megatrends and Political Authority

For the foreseeable future, political authority in Africa will be increasingly intertwined with and shaped by the megatrends. African societies are becoming younger, larger, more digital, and more urban. They have to adapt to the consequences of climate change and thus make new demands on their states and governments. Social movements are putting pressure on established elites and political systems. These processes of change can promote democratic structures, but also autocratic tendencies. At the moment, the latter trend prevails in many states worldwide. The majority of African countries can be classified as electoral or closed autocracies. We investigate the conditions under which megatrends work in one direction or the other.