Ghana is often seen as peaceful, but is faced with many chieftaincy conflicts that result mainly from succession to the throne (skin or stool) for traditional political power. Ghana has more than 230 chieftaincy disputes dotted across many parts of the country. However, the Bulsa Traditional Area (Buluk) of Ghana has had a stable and resilient chieftaincy succession despite conflicts arising out of the selection of chiefs. In the selection of chiefs, the adoption of a voting system is said to lead to consensus based decision-making which is largely responsible for the non-violent nature of the Buluk chieftaincy succession as compared to other areas in Ghana. Using a qualitative methodology, this case study examined in detail the chieftaincy succession system in the Bulsa Traditional area of Ghana, both conflict and consensus, and how this has helped over the years to maintain peace and avoid violence. The paper also examines whether this case could be a model for chieftaincy succession in Ghana.

Author Bio(s)

Kaderi Noagah Bukari is a Junior Researcher and PhD Student at the Zentrum für Entwicklungs Forschung (ZEF), Centre for development research, University of Bonn – Germany. He holds a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Peace and Development Studies from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Mr. Bukari has a considerable interest in researching into chieftaincy, ethnic and resource conflicts, local politics of ethnic groups and development issues. His current PhD thesis is on farmer-Fulani herder conflicts and relations in Ghana.


Chieftaincy conflicts, Ghana, Bulsa Traditional Area, peace and consensus

Publication Date






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.