The year 2016 was full of surprises. The biggest ones (Brexit, Trump’s election, Jammeh’s exit) were delivered via the ballot box. Democracy may yet have more surprises in store for us in 2017. As the Director of the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Institute at the University of Gothenburg, few people on the planet study democracy and its effect more closely than Professor Staffan I. Lindberg. He spoke to Wycliffe Muga, a Kenyan journalist and political commentator, on what V-Dem’s work reveals about democracy in Africa, why people are now more open to “I can fix this” politicians and much more.