Burkina Faso

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Freedom House


Burkina Faso’s rich civic institutions are rooted in the history of the precolonial Mossi kingdoms, the traditions of stateless societies in the southwest, the Islamic brotherhoods that structure the lives of Muslims, the hundred-year presence of the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant missionary societies, and popular struggles for representation during the colonial and postindependence periods. This heritage is a constant feature of contemporary political discourse, with critics accusing the current regime of betraying the country’s political traditions. The regime’s defenders emphasize its continuity with the past and its efforts to restore civic life after the excesses of the revolutionary period of the 1980s.

Chapter of

Countries at the Crossroads 2007


Sanja Kelly
Christopher Walker
Jake Dizard