Article

The "Alternation Effect" in Africa

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Abstract

Journal of Democracy 15.4 (2004) 147-158 More than a decade has passed since the third wave of global democratization broke on Africa's shores. This African wave came to world attention in February 1990, when the South African apartheid government decided to lift the ban on the African National Congress and release Nelson Mandela from three decades of imprisonment. Only four years later, vast crowds cheered Mandela's presidential inauguration as the new nation's multicolored flag replaced the hated banner of the apartheid state. And in 1999, young Nigerians danced in the streets to celebrate the downfall of a brutal military dictatorship and to welcome a new civilian regime. Mass public celebrations have often greeted the ouster of longstanding authoritarians and the birth of democracy at the polls. But how long does such enthusiasm last? Are Africans' preferences for democratic government enduring or ephemeral? This essay reports that, consistent with trends in other world regions, mass democratic commitments in Africa are far from fixed. Instead, popular support for democracy tends to drift downward over time. Reassuringly, however, it seems that Africans' commitment to democracy can be refreshed by alternations in power by way of elections. In short, there are signs of an incipient pattern in the evolution of public opinion in Africa's new democracies. Mass political optimism invariably marks the immediate aftermath of founding elections, and the public mood is especially buoyant in countries where the preceding regime has been deeply repressive—as in South Africa and Nigeria. Indeed, landmark democratic transitions often generate rashly unrealistic expectations about the benefits that democracy will bring. But on the "morning after," initial popular exuberance dissipates. If political life reverts to familiar patterns, people begin to question the desirability and quality of the new order, and they tend to sober up sharply if elected elites betray their popular mandate by indulging in corrupt or manipulative behavior. In cases where a rotten team of incumbents survives subsequent elections, it does not take long until the general public becomes disillusioned with democracy. Can alternations in power restore popular faith in democracy? More than any other political event, a peaceful vote and subsequent transfer of power from one group to another should serve in the public mind to validate "rule by the people." But in reality, does electoral alternation help to relegitimize democracy? Surveys of public opinion in Africa offer an opportunity to test whether the election of new ruling parties can in fact reinvigorate stalling attitudes toward democracy. This essay draws upon data from the Afrobarometer—a comparative series of public attitude surveys on democracy, market reform, and civil society. The first round of surveys took place between July 1999 and October 2001, and covered more than 21,000 adult citizens in 12 countries. The second round reached more than 23,000 persons in 15 countries between June 2002 and October 2003. In each round, trained fieldworkers conducted face-to-face interviews in a local language of the respondent's choice. For the sake of consistency, however, the key term of "democracy" was expressed in a national language, whether English, French, Portuguese, or Swahili. By this standard, an average of more than three-quarters of the respondents in the surveys' randomly selected national samples was able to attach a meaning to the term. In order to arrive at reliable conclusions about trends in public opinion, analysts generally prefer to have at least three observations, separated by intervals of several years. Otherwise, momentary shifts in volatile attitudes—or mere measurement errors—may be misinterpreted as lasting changes in the public mood. Because so far only two observations are available for most countries in the Afrobarometer, we take several precautions to diminish the chances of arriving at faulty conclusions: We note if interview questions change between surveys, we break down Afrobarometer "averages" by country, and we draw attention only to differences of 10 percentage points or more. For any given Afrobarometer survey the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 points, which doubles to 6 points when two surveys are compared. Therefore, we use an even larger margin—at least 10 percentage points—before speculating about changes in public...

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... In order to do so, the purpose of Chapter 2 is to analyse literature on democratic consolidation, defining the concept and developing a multivariate model of democratic consolidation similar to those used by Bratton andVan de Walle (1997), Przeworski, et al. (1996) and Leftwich (2000) to examine processes of democratization in African democracies. ...
... The second chapter is a literary study devoted to conceptualising and operationalising the concept of democratic consolidation. In order to operationalise democratic consolidation, a multivariate model like those of Bratton andVan de Walle (1997), Przeworski, et al. (1996) and Leftwich (2000) With regards to time frame, this study will analyse applicable sources from the beginning of the (heterosexual) epidemic to the present (August 2011) in each state. For Botswana, an epidemic was perceived to threaten the population by 1986 (Iliffe 2006: 38) and in South Africa the epidemic was rapidly spreading by 1987 (Iliffe 2006: 43). ...
... Huntington argues that such turnovers demonstrate "the heart of democracy", the ability to elect rulers -or if things go wrong, "the unique democratic remedy of 'peacefully dismissing the government'" (Giliomee and Simkins 1999: xv). Bratton (2003) finds that in terms of public opinion, alternations of power can re-establish the legitimacy of democracy where it is often declining in Africa (Bratton 2003: 156). ...
... Several recent analyses have shifted the focus to exploring the impact of the outcomes of national elections-specifically, alternations in executive power. Most notably, Bratton (2004) evaluated the effects of alternations in power on individuals' democratic commitment, and Moehler and Lindberg (2009) explored the effects on popular perceptions of regime legitimacy. This study examines how alternations in power that result from electoral contests affect mass perceptions of democratic durability. ...
... Under such circumstances, political elites remain largely disconnected from their constituents. Earlier findings of the Afrobarometer also indicate that leadership alternation has a temporal, positive impact on popular assessments of the extent of democracy, while Africans' commitment to democracy decays in the absence of alternation (Bratton, 2004). Similarly, Moehler and Lindberg (2009) argue that "power alternations also appear to generate shared levels of legitimacy between winners and losers" (p. ...
Article
Can democracy consolidate in electoral systems without power alternations? Using public attitude data collected by the Afrobarometer in 16 sub-Saharan African countries (2005-2006), as well as country-level variables, this study examines how alternations in power that result from electoral contests affect mass perceptions of democratic durability. By examining durability, we shift the focus from individuals' own preferences and attitudes regarding democracy to their perceptions about the degree of societal commitment to a democratic regime. Multilevel analysis finds that a lack of alternation among power holders undermines popular confidence that democracy, weak as it may be, will endure. Moreover, the gap in perceptions of democratic durability between the political majority and the minority narrows considerably in systems where one or more alternations have occurred.
... Nigeria's poor management of oil windfalls, to the detriment of the majority of its citizens, high poverty, environmental pollution and oil induced violent conflict is partly attributed to its weak democratic polity, and oil that seems to have weakened the country's democratic process and undermined the proper functioning of its institutions (Watts 2010;Stevens 2003;Sala-i-Martin and Subramanian 2003). Ghana being relatively democratic, where there are competitive elections and successful alternation of political power between at least the two political parties, relatively good institutions, respect for human right and vibrant CSOs (Bratton 2004;Crawford 2004), it is interesting to examine whether or not democratic polity inoculates against the curse or if its tendencies like poor economic growth, weak institutions, and corruption and 'mismanagement' ...
... Botswana seems to have a dominant and 'homogenous' political class that are united (Samatar 1999;Mogalakwe 2003) while Ghana's political elites seems fragmented along historical, ethnicity and personality cleavages (Whitefield 2011), often focused on how to win elections and to keep their parties in power (Opoku 2010). Despite an increasing consolidation of the country's democracy where there have been relatively free and fair elections and alternation of power between the two leading political parties (Ayee 2012;Awal 2012;Bratton 2004;Crawford 2004), the competitiveness of the Ghana's elections and the 'fear' of losing the next election have made the political elites more concerned with programmes that could help them maintain their political base to win power. Elections in Ghana appears to be based on competitive clientelism (Whitfield el al 2015;Whitfield and Buur 2014) and maintaining such a patronage networks can be expensive and undermine the political elites' ability to invest in structurally transforming ventures (Whitfield 2011;Whitfield and Therkilsden 2011;Bayart 1993;Chabal 1992). ...
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The resource curse has generated much research since the 1970s because natural resource rich countries in the developing world seem to perform poorly economically and on development indicators compared to resource poor ones. Researchers and development practitioners have explained the curse in terms of how natural resource windfalls are implicated in a country’s poor economic growth, governance, government borrowing and debt, currency movement, decline in manufacturing and agricultural sectors, environmental degradation and violent conflicts. Indeed, whereas the growth rate of resource rich economies has been erratic, it is essential to put the explanation and whom the growth benefit in context. The existing literature on the curse is problematic for its methodological nationalism where it does not account adequately for global and local factors (actors, agencies and structures) interact with national politics in shaping the differentiated impact of natural resource windfalls on development. While this study recognised the importance of the national economy in shaping the impact of resource windfalls on development, it relies on actor network theory (ANT) to analyse the problematic impact of natural resources (the curse) as a socially constructed phenomenon and conditioned through interactions between a ‘globalised assemblage’. The assemblage comprises transnational oil companies, states, CSOs, global energy discourses and local politics. Thus, where the curse manifests, it is produced through the interaction between actors, agency and structures, and the resource rich economies are sometimes governed through a transnational contract of extraversion. In Africa, weak democracy is noted as the main factor that shape the impact of oil, this study uses network perspective to analyse the diverse actors, agencies and structures that condition the impact of oil, and whether or not the curse will manifest in a democratic setting on the continent. This study revealed that while Ghana is not experiencing a curse, oil can be problematic for development in the developing world, even in a democratic setting due to the negative impacts of oil; global; national and local politics. Ghana’s case yet revealed that while democracy does not insulate a country from oil-related development challenges, it can mitigate them. Competitive electoral pressure has compelled the state to be responsive, by directing oil windfalls for provision of social services. This study also revealed that the directionality of the problematic impacts oil are not predetermined since Ghana’s currency has depreciated instead of it appreciating as noted in curse literature. There are also temporalities and spatialities to the problematic nature impact oil where increased Ghana government borrowing is creating a ‘deferred debt curse’ and similarly, whereas oil positively impacted the national provision of social services, fisher-folks experienced decline in income due to restrictions on fishing.
... Nigeria is however criticised for the poor management of oil windfalls to the detriment of majority of its citizens resulting in high poverty, environmental pollution and violent conflict due to its weak democratic polity (Watts, 2010(Watts, , 2008Stevens, 2003). Thus, Ghana being relatively democratic, with vibrant institutions and civil society organisations, competitive elections and alternation of power among political parties (Bratton, 2004;Crawford, 2004), offers an interesting case to examine whether democratic polity innoculates against the curse. Or how does the tendencies of the curse manifest differently. ...
... found that winner-loser gaps are relatively large in countries with predominant party systems (such as Japan and Mexico) and that citizens who loose repeatedly were more dissatisfied than were citizens who lost only once. To date the most comprehensive inquiry into systematic effects of turnovers on public opinion in Africa found that alternations in power affected every measure of support for democracy positively (Bratton 2004) but that study did not inquire into the winner-loser relationship, or institutional legitimacy , the subjects of this inquiry. turnovers as a cause of democratic consolidation 1451 Peaceful Process The systematic use of violence constitutes a denial of democratic values and rights. ...
Article
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Democratic consolidation depends on common perceptions of institutional legitimacy among citizens aligned with governing and opposition parties. Elections always result in winners and losers, but if they also create subservient insiders and aggrieved outsiders, the future of the democratic system will be uncertain. This article theorizes about why certain electoral qualities (elections that produce turnovers, are peaceful, accepted by opposition parties, and free and fair) should reduce winner-loser gaps in perceived institutional legitimacy. The hypotheses are tested using a hierarchical two-step statistical procedure to analyze three rounds of Afrobarometer microlevel data combined with national-level data on African elections between 1989 and 2006. The analyses indicate that electoral turnovers (and only turnovers) have a significant moderating effect on the citizenry. Following alternations of power, winners and losers converge in their attitudes about their institutions, thus furthering the consolidation of democracy.
... Only six percent of respondents in Kenya define democracy in these terms for their first response, while 13.8 percent use this language in Zimbabwe. Moreover, when alternation of power does occur, citizen satisfaction with democracy increases substantially (Bratton 2008). In other words, African cultural norms appear to embrace an expectation of democratic competition which empowers citizens. ...
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Recent power sharing agreements in Kenya and Zimbabwe highlight a new set of issues relating to the broader practice of “inclusive governance” in Africa. In particular, power sharing pacts present a problematic solution to flawed elections in an environment of “forced trust.” This paper begins by arguing that inclusive governance varies in three significant ways: (1) origin distinguishes extra-constitutional pacts from coalitions produced by more stable institutions; (2) function contrasts post-war cases from scenarios where the state itself it not at risk; and (3) time horizon refers to dilemmas that require weighing long term costs versus short term advantages. The benefits of inclusive governance for conflict mitigation are well known, and a large literature debates the successes and failures. However by promoting representation at the expense of other democratic goals and values, Africa’s recent experiments with inclusive governance present other understudied risks. They undermine vertical relationships of accountability between citizens and governments, enable budgetary irresponsibility, and create the conditions for bargaining gridlock. The paper’s conclusion suggests that the drawbacks of inclusive governance can be moderated by sunset clauses linked to democratic transition plans, by paying careful attention to human rights issues, and by providing support for institutions that counterbalance executive authority, which is typically buttressed through pacts.
... 28 Similarly, although Afrobarometer survey data have shown that the first two decades of multipartism in Africa saw a gradual downward trend in popular support for democracy, Michael Bratton finds that this was offset in countries that had experienced an alternation in power, such as Ghana and Mali. 29 In other words, transfers of power injected multiparty regimes with a much needed dose of legitimacy. This is a significant finding because the stronger the popular support for democracy, the more costly it is for leaders to abuse democratic institutions and indulge authoritarian tendencies; thus initial democratic gains are less likely to be eroded. ...
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Although government defeats are extremely rare in multiparty Africa, little analysis has taken place of the conditions under which ruling parties lose power. This article documents a remarkable pattern that has so far received little comment: throughout the continent opposition parties are almost four times more likely to win elections when the sitting president does not stand. Using a comparative data-set and examples from Kenya, Ghana, and Sierra Leone, the article explains the three main reasons that open-seat elections are more likely to lead to political change, and considers the relationship between term-limits, turnover, and democratic consolidation.
... Indeed, in 1999Indeed, in -2001, fewer than half of all respondents (48 percent) both supported democracy and rejected all three authoritarian regimes. And this index of demand for democracy fell to just over one in three respondents (37 percent) by 2002-3 (Bratton 2004). ...
Article
If democracy consists of “rule by the people,” then the values, attitudes, and behaviors of ordinary folk are central to considerations of the fate of democracy. If it turns out that democratic stability in the medium- to long-term depends on the economic well-being of citizens, then democracies can be expected to be especially fragile in world regions where many people live in poverty. This chapter explores the relationship of poor people to democratic citizenship in sub-Saharan Africa. It is prompted in part by intriguing research results emerging from South Asia that suggest that poor people are equally or more likely to hold democratic values, support democratic regimes, and vote in democratic elections. For example, Yadav finds for India in the 1990s “a participatory upsurge” among scheduled castes and tribes leading to “turnout of the lower orders of society…well above that of the most privileged groups” (2000: 120, 133). Bratton, Chu, and Lagos have replicated this result using National Election Survey data for India, confirming that Indians of lower material status were significantly more likely to cast a ballot in the 1999 election (2006). To test these and related results in African contexts, data are drawn from the Afrobarometer. The Afrobarometer is a series of comparative national surveys that, among other things, measures the economic living conditions and political orientations of ordinary Africans. Each national survey – covering fifteen countries in Round 2 – is based on a probability sample representing the adult population eighteen years and older.
... The legitimacy of the democratic project itself may be eroded if the conditions and aspirations of the masses are not addressed. Africa-wide survey evidence suggests that popular support for democracy tends to drift downward over time, but can be refreshed when elections produce alternation in power (Bratton, 2004), something that has yet to occur in any of the southern African countries under consideration. At worst the state may become irrelevant, leading to disengagement of most of its people in the context of a gathering process of informalisation, a process documented by Chazan (1988) in Ghana which has resonance for two southern African countries which have yet to participate in the 'third wave', Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). ...
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Huntingdon's ‘third wave’ of democracy came late to Africa, but five countries held general elections in 2004, providing an opportunity to reflect on degrees of democratic consolidation in the region. African political dynamics are considered in relation to the political and economic environment together with national, ethnic and regional identities and the way in which these may influence democratic consolidation. The electoral systems of the five countries are considered in relation to the dominant party effect. The course and outcomes of the five elections are examined in relation to indicators of participation and competition suggested by Lindberg. The latter's indicators of legitimacy are considered in relation to more detailed analysis of each election in its national context, paying attention to the influence of ethnic, regional and other divisions on outcomes, which are mapped. Major procedural flaws prevented democratic consolidation in Mozambique and hindered it in Malawi, where the party system also proved unstable. South Africa, Namibia and Botswana satisfied most of the criteria apart from turnover and provide convincing evidence of the institutionalisation and acceptance of democracy, albeit qualified by the continuing dominance of their governing parties. In all five countries the equation of democracy with socio-economic benefits threatens disillusionment in the face of poverty and inequality.
... As a group, Africans express pro-democratic sentiment at comparable levels to other regions (Bratton and Mattes 2001b). Bratton (2004) reports a significant increase in prodemocratic sentiment, both satisfaction and support for democracy, immediately after the alternation of power in an election. As a manifestation of successful and extensive democratic reform, this may point to a tendency for massive reform movements to increase support for democracy, while at the same time lowering the importance of performance in the development of pro-democratic attitudes. ...
... There is also some evidence that large cabinets reflect African cultural traditions of inclusiveness. But many citizens value majoritarian qualities that promote alternating power rather than sharing it; African satisfaction with democracy in fact increases substantially after the electoral defeat of the incumbent party leads to alternation (Bratton 2008). Anecdotal evidence reinforces such cynicism about large cabinets. ...
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Does cabinet size impact economic performance in Africa? The number of ministerial portfolios has increased steadily for nearly four decades, yet we know little about the consequences of Africa’s cabinets. Comparative studies generate conflicting expectations, either blaming broad-based governments for patronage or crediting them for economic development. Using cross-national time-series data on 45 African countries between 1971 and 2006, statistical tests first show that cabinets with more ministries impose higher taxes and have higher rates of inflation. Next, we find that multiparty governments are strongly associated with less extractive government, lower rates of inflation, and less patronage spending. We conclude that coalition governments improve economic performance through horizontal monitoring of executives; this differs significantly from prevailing findings about the performance of cabinets in the developed world.
... Afrobarometer has thus proven to be a useful tool for geographers, political scientists, and area specialists. Afrobarometer data had been cited over 400 times in scholarly publications (examples from political science, regional studies, and geography include Bratton 2004, Lemon 2007, Esteban 2010, and Hutchison 2011. Lemon (2007), for example, used Afrobarometer data to evaluate democratic consolidation in the context of general elections in five southern African countries, while Hutchison (2011) employed Afrobarometer data to measure democratic trust in sixteen African states. ...
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In May 2011, Namibia's Minister of Mines and Energy issued a controversial new policy requiring that all future mineral extraction licenses be issued only to state-owned companies. The public debate over this policy reflects rising concerns in southern Africa over who should benefit from globally-significant resources. The goal of this thesis is to create space for the consideration of Namibian perspectives on this topic through the approach of critical geopolitics. Using a mixed methods approach, this thesis analyzes Namibians' opinions on foreign involvement, particularly involvement in natural resource extraction, from three sources: China, South Africa, and the United States. First, through textual analysis of media sources, including editorials, letters to the editor, and SMSes, I analyze the divergent portrayals of specific foreign involvement actors and foreign involvement in Namibia more broadly in the Namibian media. Second, through an analysis of Afrobarometer survey data, I identify the socioeconomic, demographic, and political factors that best predict Namibians' perceptions of Chinese, South African, and American involvement. The findings of these two approaches provide details on two key aspects of foreign investment in Namibia: first, the ways in which the oft-cited discursive battle of "resource-grabbing" versus "investment opportunity" obscures the diversity of ways in which foreign investment is framed by Namibians, and second, the critical geopolitics, based on public opinion, that have singled out China in discussions of foreign investment in Africa, even in places like Namibia where it is far from the largest actor.
... Une observation mérite d'être faite : si la théorisation de la démocratisation fonctionne comme un écran reconstruit et souvent surdéterminé qui brouille les traits du réel, il convient de la dépasser pour considérer plus concrètement les transformations dans les pratiques notamment celles des élites institutionnelles dont le rôle a été déjà démontré (Mcsweeney et Tempest, 1993). Les success stories de la démocratisation sont hélas fort peu nombreuses, un grand nombre de travaux viendra le corroborer en rappelant avec persévérance la fermeture du système politique, l'atonie d'une société civile sans relief, la violence de la domination (celle des plus forts et des plus riches) qui dévoie les individus et les institutions, les nombreuses failles du système, etc. (Riggs, 1993 ;Linz et Stepan, 1996;Ottaway, 1997 ;Friedman, 1999 ;Ndegwa, 2001;Herbst, 2001 ;Morlino, 2001;Van De Walle, 2002 ;Joseph, 2003;Bratton, 2004;Von Doepp et Villalon, 2005 ;Gazibo, 2006). L'exemple camerounais, surprenant par la pérennité du régime pré-transitionnel retient particulièrement notre attention. ...
Article
S'il faut penser la dynamique de décompression autoritaire à l'oeuvre à la faveur du processus de démocratisation, la constitution d'arènes parlementaires est une entrée de choix. Certes, la profession parlementaire est l'une des sections relativement délaissées du métier politique comme en témoigne le nombre tenu de travaux spécifiquement à elle consacré, mais elle présente l'intérêt de refléter les formes de confrontation spécialisées productrices d'ordre politique. Cet ordre, fait d'« interpénétration des actes d'un groupe d'individus interdépendant » (Elias, 1981 : 157), est fondé sur des logiques propres (civilité, respect de l'autre, éloquence, etc.) de sorte qu'interroger les modalités de la pacification de moeurs politiques en contexte post-autoritaire trouve dans les arènes parlementaires un terrain privilégié. De fait, la question de la violence et de la civilité dans les arènes parlementaires dans des contextes transitionnels ou post-transitionnels (notamment africaines) peut être envisagée par le biais des changements avérés ou présumés du début des années 90. Le passage d'un éthos de « l'un » marqué par une absence ou un faible degré de différenciation politique, le refus de la lutte ouverte et du pluralisme caractéristiques des régimes autoritaires ; à une reconnaissance de l'autre comme partenaire du jeu politique constitue une étape critique.
... Whereas some have argued that there is usually a decline in electoral integrity over time (Bratton, 2004), others have contended that the quality of elections improves in successive elections (Lindberg, 2004). Both theses have been validated by trends in elections in different parts of Africa as shown by Alemika (2007). ...
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This article presents a detailed appraisal of the administration of the 2019 general elections with a special focus on polling station information, set up, the voting and counting process, conduct of security officials and declaration of results. Findings show an improvement in the conduct of elections and hence a deepening of democracy in Nigeria. These improvements include the use of card readers and greater participation by stakeholders including observer groups, CSOs and the media. Some of the challenges include disruptions occasioned by the postponement of the general elections, low voter turnouts, logistical challenges, late arrivals of materials and officials, the cumbersome voting process for uneducated and rural voters, weak capacity of ad-hoc staff, voter inducement, shortage of materials and personnel, and challenges with smart card readers. Others are lack of special provisions for people with disabilities, inadequate security in some cases, too many political parties listed on the ballot paper, high number of invalid votes, non-adherence to electoral guidelines, uneven distribution of voters and underage voting. Recommendations arising from the paper include reform of the Electoral Act to improve transparency and efficiency through the use of ICT tools, continuing voter education, capacity development for INEC/ad-hoc staff and security officials, improving elections logistics and smart card reader functionality. Similarly recommended are enhanced funding for INEC, ensuring strict adherence to guidelines, continuous civic and voter registration, adequate provision for people living with disabilities and effective security planning.
... However, similarly to other democratising electoral outcomes, executive turnover is not only evidence of democratic progress but also a potential driver of further achievements. The replacement of an underperforming government at the polls can renew democratic legitimacy (Bratton 2004). Alternation in power can also have a positive moderating effect on citizens' perceptions of the stakes of political competition (Moehler and Lindberg 2009). ...
Article
Elections do not always advance democratisation, yet they can. We outline a democratisation-by-elections model according to which the opportunities for political change opened up by each electoral round build on previous election-related democratic progress. We focus on Nigeria, interpret the recent executive turnover in light of previous elections, and set the country within the comparative context of Africa’s democratisation. Using a new Africa Leadership Change dataset, we use election-related events to examine the diverse routes that African regimes have taken since 1990. The analysis highlights two major syndromes: democratic stagnation and recession. In a sizeable group, however, the institutionalisation of democracy has been making gradual progress. While there is no predetermined way to advance democracy, the reiteration of elections can be instrumental in such advancement. © 2016, GIGA German Institute for Global and Area Studies. All rights reserved.
... Both studies suggest, as Callaghy (1993) and Van de Walle (2001, 2003) cautioned, that electoral politics may not generate improvements in economic and social policies, but only reinforce patterns of patronage. Finally, recent surveys of public opinion in Africa suggest that popular support for democracy has drifted downward over time as citizens gain more experience with it (Bratton 2004). Optimism about the benefits of democracy marked the aftermath of founding elections, especially where the previous regime was repressive, yet popular exuberance often dissipated as " political life reverted to familiar patterns " (Bratton 2004: 148). ...
... The same increase is reflected in other fraud types such as state/party official interference, election violence, and multiple/underage voting. This also refutes Lindberg's (2006) finding that election quality tends to increase after three or more rounds of election, but rather supports Bratton's (2004) assertion that election quality tends to decline after the first round of election in Africa. The consistency in fraud data, over a period of four rounds of elections, is supportive of the part of our hypothesis that fraud is common and sustainable in most presidential elections in Africa. ...
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The paper deals with a set of substantively important questions for Africa's ongoing democratization. In a narrow sense, what role are courts playing in the process of intervening in electoral dispute, as it is related to fraud, official misconducts, and violence? More broadly, how is the involvement of courts in those disputes influencing the broader democratization process? After examining relevant data from Nigeria's elections since 1999, data indicate that out of hundreds of disputed gubernatorial election results, only 6.3% success were recorded in court. The paper arrived at two conclusions: first, courts in Nigeria are failing to adequately address electoral disputes because the legal burden of proof required of petitioners is too demanding to be effective. Second, the inaction of courts enable incumbents to consistently retain power, thereby negating the principle of consolidation of democracy. Thus, the court is failing to play a role in promoting democratic consolidation. Reasonably valid quantitative measures exist for each of the factors. Data sources consisted of governmental documents, data from international election observers and other research.
... The prospect for institutionalisation and consolidation of opposition parties is a function of regime turnover through elections (International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 2007). However, evidence suggests that Africans' commitment to democracy decays in the absence of alternation (Bratton, 2004). Lending credence to these positions, we could infer that the failure of a system to allow credible opposition in any democratic regime may limit the public's real choices for the emergence of a responsive and representative political system. ...
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Modern understandings of democracy not only suggest a regime in which those who govern are selected through contested elections, but more fundamentally, a system of government in which parties lose elections. Yet, the mechanism of vertical accountability whereby the people can hold the ruling government responsible depends on parties in opposition providing choices for voters while remaining loyal to the idea of governmental power. Adopting the principle of loyal opposition as the basis of this study in the Nigerian context, we try to interrogate whether the duty to serve as “government in-waiting’’ equally affects how the duty to critique the actions of the government is performed. The study further probed; can a ruling party cope with the criticism of the opposition party? To answer these questions, the study argued that it is tempting not to assume that, the institution of political party is still at its lowest ebb despite the successful democratic transition in Nigeria since 1999, and the alternation of political power resulting in the change of party in government from the People’s Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress in 2015. These issues have consequences for the principle of loyal opposition and democratic stability in Nigeria.
... The Afrobarometer surveys have been cited in numerous publications concerned with developmental patterns in Africa (Bratton 2004;Mattes and Mozaffar 2016;Robinson 2014;Sacks and Levi 2010). This round of Afrobarometer surveys cluster samples countries in the sub-Saharan region only. ...
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The issue of bribery raises questions about the implications of institutional development and trust in the raw material industry. This paper uses theories of institutionalism and trust to explore path dependence arguments seeking to explain the resource curse puzzle. Institutional development and trust are examined as potential mediators linking mineral extraction/processing to bribery in sub-Saharan African countries. The model suggests potential factors linking raw material industries to institutional development and institutional development to the degradation of interpersonal and generalized trust. The proposed model is tested with data on a sample of sub-Saharan African countries using multilevel logistic regression with promising results.
... Peaceful turnover of executive power has long been viewed as a key sign of consolidation in new democracies (Huntington 1991;Przeworski et al. 2000;Przeworski 2015). Handovers from one elected leader to another are taken as an indication that elites and publics focus on changing the rulers, not the regime, when they are dissatisfied with incumbents (Huntington 1991: 267). 1 Some research also suggests that democratic alternation in office can generate other political benefits, including public confidence in and support for democracy (Bratton 2004;Moehler and Lindberg 2009;Cho and Logan 2014), increased public goods (Carbone and Pellegata 2017), and better quality of governance (Milanovic, Hoff, and Horowitz 2010). ...
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What prompts governments in new democracies to investigate elected leaders once they leave office? Theorizing about democratic regimes suggests that leadership turnover by constitutional means should generate few such cases: democratic entry to and exit from office are thought to prompt benign treatment from successor administrations. Yet over a third of democratically elected presidents and prime ministers who left office between 1970 and 2011 have faced investigations for malfeasance. This study analyzes the conditions that generate such cases. We find that the odds of investigation rise when there is strong evidence of former leaders’ personal culpability; but also when the executive regime is presidential, and the judiciary lacks independence from other branches. Partisanship has a more limited impact: co-partisanship with the incumbent reduces the odds of investigation for ex-prime ministers, but sharing a party label with an incumbent offers no such protection to a former president.
... Given Ghana's achievement in peaceful power alternation, the study finds that Ghana seems to be on a favorable path toward democratic consolidation. This is in line with the findings of Huntington, 162 Bratton, 163 Przeworski, 164 Cho and Logan, 165 and Moehler and Lindberg. 166 With respect to Nigeria, the study finds that the historic peaceful power alternation in 2015 was the result of a conglomeration of several interacting factors, including the improved, more transparent election management system; the electorate's generally favorable perception of the election and its outcome; pressure from stakeholders; as well as the personality of President Jonathan, the incumbent. ...
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This essay investigates the critical factors contributing to peaceful power alternation and, by extension, charts the path for democratic consolidation in Ghana and Nigeria. It adopts an exploratory research design which involves systematic collection, presentation, and analysis of data through relevant texts, observations, interviews, and documentary evidence. The essay relies on primary and secondary data from Ghana and Nigeria. The results show that, for Ghana, factors such as the country's transparent electoral management system and formidable democratic culture have been major contributors to the nation's democratic trajectory. Whereas in the Nigerian experience, an improved electoral management system; the perceptions of the electorate; pressure from stakeholders; and the personality of the incumbent president have had significant effects. The essay concludes that the transparent electoral management system and solid democratic culture in Ghana and the improved electoral management system and the personality of the incumbent president in Nigeria have been the greatest influences on power alternation and the democratic process. However, Ghana has fared better than Nigeria in these respects.
... As legal pre-commitments to consider alternative candidates (Ginsburg et al. 2011), ETLs impede prolonged tenures and put the precept of executive rotation into effects (Venice Commission 2018). Moreover, while in principle ETLs could merely produce succession between leaders from the same party, in practice ETLs increase opposition's chances of victory, thus favouring government alternation (Maltz 2007;Cheeseman 2010), with positive returns for the legitimacy of democracy and state institutions (Bratton 2004;Moehler and Lindberg 2009). ...
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Besides elections, the sub-Saharan wave of political reforms of the 1990s led several countries to introduce limits to the number of terms that a chief executive can serve, even though several leaders managed to bypass them. While Africa's executive term limits (ETLs) politics has gained scholarly attention, the literature mostly consists of in-depth small-N analyses. Systematic comparative research is rare. To contribute filling this gap, this article presents a new Africa Executive Term Limits (AETL) dataset. Covering 49 sub-Saharan polities throughout the 1990-2019 period, AETL represents the most complete and updated collection of data on Africa's ETLs politics , and a versatile research tool to address several questions on the present and future of this continent. A preliminary assessment of the new data finds ETLs to be increasingly respected, and to have positive returns for government alternation and development. These findings point to new research avenues that AETL may help travel.
... The same increase is reflected in other fraud types such as state/party official interference, election violence, and multiple/underage voting. This also refutes Lindberg's (2006) finding that election quality tends to increase after three or more rounds of election, but rather supports Bratton's (2004) assertion that election quality tends to decline after the first round of election in Africa. The consistency in fraud data, over a period of four rounds of elections, is supportive of the part of our hypothesis that fraud is common and sustainable in most presidential elections in Africa. ...
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The paper deals with a set of substantively important questions for Africa's ongoing democratization. In a narrow sense, what role are courts playing in the process of intervening in electoral dispute, as it is related to fraud, official misconducts, and violence? More broadly, how is the involvement of courts in those disputes influencing the broader democratization process? After examining relevant data from Nigeria's elections since 1999, data indicate that out of hundreds of disputed gubernatorial election results, only 6.3% success were recorded in court. The paper arrived at two conclusions: first, courts in Nigeria are failing to adequately address electoral disputes because the legal burden of proof required of petitioners is too demanding to be effective. Second, the inaction of courts enable incumbents to consistently retain power, thereby negating the principle of consolidation of democracy. Thus, the court is failing to play a role in promoting democratic consolidation. Reasonably valid quantitative measures exist for each of the factors. Data sources consisted of governmental documents, data from international election observers and other research.
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Historical institutionalism has been used to explain the emergence of democracy and dictatorship in various regions of the world, but not applied to political development in Africa. Based on the recently refined concepts of historical institutionalism, the aim of this study is to provide a framework for the analysis of the various regime types that have been established in Africa during the last two decades: democratic, hybrid and authoritarian. Surprisingly little effort has been dedicated to a historically grounded explanation of these regime types. Against a common claim that African politics is mainly driven by informal institutions or behaviors, we argue that an institution‐based examination of African politics is justified. We then provide a proposition of how to link up concepts of historical institutionalism with empirical cases in Africa, within a comparative approach. Our proposition for tracing specific development paths will not be based on the regimes as a “whole”, but on the deconstruction of a political regime into partial regimes and subsequently into selected formal and informal institutions. This will allow for an empirical analysis of the different components of a regime over long periods of time, and thus for path‐dependent analyses of regime development.
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Besides the introduction of multi-party elections, the sub-Saharan wave of democratic reforms of the 1990s encompassed the introduction of limits to the number of terms that a chief executive can serve. Executive term limits (ETLs) are key for democracy to advance in a continent with a legacy of personal rule. However, the manipulation of ETLs has become a recurring mode of autocratisation, through which African aspiring over-stayers weaken executive constraints, taint political competition, and limit citizens’ possibility to choose who governs. This article presents a three-phase model of autocratisation by ETL manipulation and, using new data, offers one of the first regional comparative studies of ETL manipulation in sub-Saharan Africa that rests on econometric modelling. The analysis leads to revisiting some previous findings on the drivers of ETL manipulation and highlights the relevance of other previously underestimated factors that may either discourage a leader from challenging ETLs or prevent their successful manipulation.
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This article explores the relationship of poor people to democratic citizenship in sub-Saharan Africa. Are poor people any more or less attached to democracy than rich people? Are they any more or less likely to act as democratic citizens? To explore these questions in African contexts, data are drawn from the Afrobarometer, a comparative series of national surveys covering 15 countries in 2002-3. Three main results emerge. First, poverty is neutral for popular democratic values: other things being equal, people at all levels of material wellbeing tend to have similar views on political tolerance, political accountability, and political equality. Second, poverty is negative for mass attitudes toward democracy: for example, poor people are less inclined than the wealthy to think that current African governments are delivering democracy. Third, and perhaps surprisingly, poverty is actually positive for several important aspects of political participation, including voter turnout, attendance at community meetings and contacting informal leaders. While the quality of this participation is still in doubt, evidence is presented to challenge the conventional view that democratic citizenship is always more fragile in world regions where many people live in poverty.
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Governance in Africa is in a state of transition, or some would say, suspension. Two powerful trends vie for dominance. One is the longstanding organization of African politics and states around autocratic personal rulers; highly centralized and overpowering presidencies; and hierarchical, informal networks of patron-client relations that draw their symbolic and emotional glue from ethnic bonds. The other is the surge since 1990 of democratic impulses, principles, and institutions. From the experience of a small but growing number of better-functioning African democracies, we know that the continent is not condemned to perpetual misrule. The challenge now is for international donors to join with Africans in demanding that their governments be truly accountable.
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Mütemadi siyasi liderlik; seçim, atama ya da zor kullanarak iktidara gelen bir siyasi liderin sahip olduğu güç ve yetkileri bırakmak istememesi; iktidarının uzun süreli, kalıcı ve daimi olması yönünde ısrarcı olması; ve bu yönde meşru olmayan hukuk ve hukuk-dışı yol ve yöntemlere başvurarak iktidarda kalma süresini uzatmak için mücadele etmesi; şartların elvermesi halinde iktidarının ebedi olduğunu ilan etmesi; hükümet dışındaki siyasi, askeri ve sivil güçleri ele geçirmeye kalkışması ve sonuçta ülke içerisinde mutlak ve keyfî bir yönetim olarak ılımlı ya da katı bir otokrasi tesis etmeye çalışması olarak tanımlanabilir. Bu çalışma “görev süresi sınırlaması” ya da daha yaygın olarak “dönem sınırı” (term limit) olarak bilinen konunun sadece dünya uygulamasını ele almayı amaçlamıştır. Görev süresi sınırlamasının kavramsal temelleri (terminoloji), türleri (tipoloji), felsefi temelleri, savunanların ve yerenlerin görüş ve düşünceleri, fayda ve maliyet analizi, avantaj ve dezavantajları, etkileri ve sonuçları ve saire konular çalışmanın kapsamına dahil edilmemiştir. Kavramlar: Görev süresi sınırlaması, dönem sınır, mütemadi siyasi liderlik, seçime dayalı demokrasi, liberal demokrasi, anokrasi, otokrasi, otoriterizm
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Power-sharing agreements have been widely used in Africa as paths out of civil war. However, the research focus on conflict mitigation provides an inadequate guide to recent cases such as Kenya and Zimbabwe. When used in response to flawed elections, pacts guaranteeing political inclusion adversely affect government performance and democratization. Political inclusion in these cases undermines vertical relationships of accountability, increases budgetary spending, and creates conditions for policy gridlock. Analysis using three salient dimensions highlights these negative effects: Origin distinguishes extra-constitutional pacts from coalitions produced by more stable institutions, function contrasts postwar cases from scenarios where the state itself faces less risk, and time horizon refers to dilemmas that weigh long-term costs versus short-term benefits. The conclusion suggests that the drawbacks of inclusive institutions can be moderated by options such as sunset clauses, evenhanded prosecution of human rights violations, and by strengthening checks on executive authority.
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Cambridge Core - African History - Political Leadership in Africa - by Giovanni Carbone
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Does the introduction of proportionality in electoral systems help to boost popular evaluations of democracy? This article takes advantage of an electoral reform in Lesotho to conduct a natural experiment. We trace shifts over time in popular political support, using Afrobarometer data collected before and after reform to measure mass satisfaction with democracy and public trust in political institutions. We find both direct and indirect effects. In the aggregate, Lesotho's transition from a majoritarian to a mixed electoral system is directly associated with increased levels of citizen support for the country's state and regime. Importantly, however, formal institutions have only indirect effects at the individual level, where a person's informal partisan status – as a member of a winning majority or losing minority – mediates the impacts of institutional change.
Following a democratic transition in 1992, Ghana has made significant efforts to promote a liberal democratic culture and system of government. This paper provides an analysis of the extent to which Ghana's liberal democratic process is being consolidated, focusing on the role and contribution of the media, civil society and state political institutions to this process. It is argued that the country has made significant strides towards its goal of consolidating a democratic process and culture. This is evident in the five successive elections that it has held since 1992, in improvements in human and political rights, in the independence of various institutions of government such as the Electoral Commission and in the significant role played by the media and civil society organisations. Nonetheless, there are a number of constraints and challenges that need to be addressed in order to sustain the gains that the country has chalked up in the democratic consolidation process.
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A growing number of states have modified constitutionally determined presidential term limits or adopted a flexible interpretation of relevant constitutional provisions to allow incumbent leaders additional terms in the highest office. This article investigates African Union (AU) responses to attempts to overturn or weaken term limits on executive power, one of the most tenacious constitutional trends in Africa. Inspired by the AU's well-established discourse on “unconstitutional changes of government” under the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the article frames the manipulation of presidential term limits as “undemocratic changes of the constitution”. From this perspective it argues for a more active role for the AU in monitoring and enforcing constitutionalism and respect for democratic standards by member states when they amend their constitution. It concludes with a tentative set of principles to guide processes of constitutional change in Africa.
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In der Anfangszeit der Politikwissenschaft, setzte sich die Analyse politischer Systeme hauptsächlich mit den Institutionen und systemischen Gegebenheiten politischen Handelns auseinander. Der Bürger kam in diesen Betrachtungen häufig nur am Rande vor und spielte für das politische Geschehen eine untergeordnete Rolle. Er war ja diesen Ansätzen zufolge überwiegend von Außenbedingungen determiniert und entsprechend handlungsbeschränkt. An dieser Sichtweise änderte sich erst mit Beginn der 1960er Jahre etwas. Abgeleitet aus den Grundgedanken der Systemtheorie Talcott Parsons (1951), den Erfahrungen der Entwicklungsländerforschung, dem Behaviorismus verbunden mit den neuen Möglichkeiten der Surveyforschung, entwickelten verschiedene angelsächsische Politikwissenschaftler (Gabriel Almond, Sidney Verba, David Easton, Seymour M. Lipset) Konzepte, die den Bürgern einen größeren Einfluss auf Stabilität und Wandel politischer Systeme zuwiesen. Diese Konzepte wurden in der Folgezeit unter dem analytischen Ansatz der politischen Kulturforschung zusammengefasst. Sie stellten den Rahmen für eine Vielzahl theoretischer Überlegungen und empirischer Analysen, die versuchten, Aussagen über die Verankerung der politischen Systeme in ihren Gesellschaften vorzunehmen.
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This paper investigates whether and how multiparty elections, introduced in many African countries since the early 1990s, affect a government’s commitment to welfare policies. We hypothesise that contested multiparty elections and turnovers between different leaders and political forces in government – even when democratic standards are not met – positively impact the promotion of social welfare. We test these hypotheses through a cross-sectional and time-series research design, making use of our new, comprehensive ‘Africa Leadership Change’ (ALC) dataset. Empirical results confirm that leaders elected through multiparty elections and countries that experience political alternations in government are associated with higher levels of social welfare.
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brachte am 06.06.2013 erneut ein Ver-fassungsänderungsgesetz ein, das aufgrund politischer Konfl ikte seit drei Jahren auf Eis gelegen hatt e. Einen Tag darauf wurden neue Verfassungsrichter vereidigt, die im Streitfall über die Rechtmäßigkeit der Reform zu entscheiden hätt en. Der vormalige Gerichtspräsident wurde nicht wieder ernannt. Er vertrat Entscheidungen, die Verfas-sungsänderungen erschweren. Analyse Benin zählt zu den wenigen, weitgehend funktionierenden afrikanischen Demokratien. Die Verfassung aus dem Jahr 1990 gilt zusammen mit dem Verfassungsgericht zu den Stabilitätsankern dieser jungen und verletz lichen Demokratie. Daher können Reform-bestrebungen – und seien sie noch so klein – schnell als Aufk ündigung des stabilitäts-tragenden Konsenses verstanden werden.  Die Verfassung Benins repräsentiert bis heute den nationalen Konsens, der 1990/91 gefunden wurde. Das Verfassungsgericht hat diesen Grundkonsens mehrfach für unantastbar erklärt.  Staatspräsident Yayi strebt seit Jahren eine Verfassungsänderung an, die der ökono-mischen Entwicklung des Landes dienen sollte. Er will politische Prozesse straff en, unabhängige Kontrollgremien in der Verfassung verankern und gute Regierungs-führung zum fundamentalen Wert erklären.  Kritiker befürchten, dass Yayi die Reform nutz en könnte, um sich länger als vor-geschrieben an der Macht zu halten. Eine "neue Republik", so die Befürchtung, könnte die Amtszeitenbeschränkungen aushebeln, die Yayis Wiederwahl im Jahr 2016 verbietet.  Das Verfassungsgericht wurde als letz te Hürde im Reformprozess wahrgenommen. Die Gleichzeitigkeit der erneuten Gesetz esvorlage und des Austausches von Ge-richtspräsident Dossou gilt den Kritikern als Zeichen für die mutmaßlich unlau-teren Absichten Yayis.  Kosten und Nutz en des Reformvorhabens stehen derzeit in einem schlechten Ver-hältnis. In der gegenwärtig stark polarisierten Stimmung riskiert eine Verfassungs-änderung, den demokratischen Konsolidierungsprozess zu gefährden.
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Namibia's Nujoma, Zambia's Chiluba, Algeria's Bouteflika, Togo's Eyadema, Cameroon's Biya, Nigeria's Obasanjo, Niger's Tandja and Uganda's Museveni have all to varying degrees attempted to subvert the democratization process in their respective countries. These however are only a small selection of an increasingly similar pattern of action by incumbents in Africa. What is most troubling to democratic transitionists is a concerted effort by these leaders to curtail their fledgling democracies in the name of their continued ‘service’ to the people. This paper seeks to examine what has enabled an increasing number of African leaders to negate power alternation in favour of open-ended tenures otherwise ‘presidential careerism’. The article argues that while most of these states have been cited for embarking on some semblance of democratic rule, their rulers have utilized their weak democratic institutional structures, co-opted the elite and rallied the ‘mob’ to commit democracy ‘infanticide’.
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For too long a conventional wisdom has held sway, suggesting that poor people in poor countries are not supportive of democracy and that democracies will be sustained only after a certain average level of wealth has been achieved. Evidence from 24 diverse countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America examined in this volume shows how poor people do not value democracy any less than their richer counterparts. Their faith in democracy is as high as that of other citizens, and they participate in democratic activities as much as their richer counterparts. Democracy is not likely to be unstable or unwelcome simply because poverty is widespread. Political attitudes and participation levels are unaffected by relative wealth. Education, rather than income or wealth, makes for more committed and engaged democratic citizens. Investments in education will make a critical difference for stabilizing and strengthening democracy.
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Cambridge Core - African Studies - Electoral Politics in Africa since 1990 - by Jaimie Bleck
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Orderly turnover of executive office between political parties and their leaders in elections following a foundation election is widely identified as a benchmark in the entrenchment of procedural democracy. This paper addresses turnover of power between political parties and presidents in new African democracies. What conditions and settings facilitate orderly turnovers? The paper considers a set of relatively successful cases of such successions as well as cases in which incumbent parties have refused to concede electoral defeat.
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Zusammenfassung In diesem Beitrag beschreibt Marie Lechler die langfristigen Folgen indirekter Kolonialherrschaft in Namibia. In einer Analyse gemeinsam mit Lachlan McNamee hat sie den Effekt mithilfe eines räumlichen Regressions-Diskontinuitäten-Ansatzes identifiziert. Dieser nutzt die willkürliche Teilung Namibias Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts in einen direkt und einen indirekt beherrschten Teil. Im indirekt regierten Teil Namibias überließen die Kolonialmächte traditionellen Führern die Verwaltung. Diese haben auch lange nach dem Ende der Kolonialzeit einen großen Einfluss in ihren Gemeinschaften. Die empirische Analyse zeigt, dass Menschen im ehemals indirekt regierten Teil weniger demokratisch eingestellt sind und dass die Wahlbeteiligung in diesem Teil des Landes geringer ausfällt als im ehemals direkt regierten Teil.
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This article identifies indirect and direct colonial rule as causal factors in shaping support for democracy by exploiting a within-country natural experiment in Namibia. Throughout the colonial era, northern Namibia was indirectly ruled through a system of appointed indigenous traditional elites whereas colonial authorities directly ruled southern Namibia. This variation originally stems from where the progressive extension of direct German control was stopped after a rinderpest epidemic in the 1890s, and, thus, constitutes plausibly exogenous within-country variation in the form of colonial rule. Using this spatial discontinuity, we find that individuals in indirectly ruled areas are less likely to support democracy and turnout at elections. We explore potential mechanisms and find suggestive evidence that the greater influence of traditional leaders in indirectly ruled areas has socialized individuals to accept nonelectoral bases of political authority.
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In the period after 1990, a massive return to liberalised forms of politics has taken place and has been largely centred around the dismantling of one partyregimes, the termination of a large number of military-led or dominated governments, the embrace of a multiparty political framework, the introduction of an independent media, the restoration of some basic freedoms to the people of the countries concerned and the convening of multi-party elections. This development was so widespread and overwhelming that it was seen by many observers as the beginning of Africa's second liberation (Olukoshi 1998; Gyimah-Boadi 2004; Mkandawire 2006). Potential gains to the peoples from the liberalisation of their national political spaces were undermined since the 1980s by the conditions set by outside suppliers of necessary resources, combined with internal challenges in terms of weak institutions, civil society and media as well as lack of a tradition of multiparty democracy and general poverty. Matters appear to have been worsened by the fact that in many African countries the promise which the opposition once represented as the bearer of the hopes and aspirations of the people has substantially faded away. Several factors have contributed to weaken and, in some cases, discredit the opposition in much of Africa's ongoing experience with multiparty politics. This is a serious development that begs for further investigation; as the development of a healthy and vigorous opposition is a major part of a democratic framework. In this study, we will see how the situation in Tanzania has evolved over the past 17 years of multi-party development; based on rather unique interviews with Professor Ibrahim Lipumba, leader of one of Tanzania's major opposition parties. © Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, 2012.
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In this article, I analyze public opinion about the 2006 Mexican presidential election in the context of the post-election conflict. My goal is to determine which individual-level variables influenced opinions about the post-election conflict. The analysis focuses on individual positions about the election fairness, confidence in the electoral Tribunal, claims for a full recount, and the public's stands on street protests and mobilization, among others. I use the Mexican component of the Comparative National Election Project (CNEP), conducted for the first time in Mexico in 2006 as a two-wave, preelection and postelection, panel design. The results highlight the importance of political predispositions in the analysis of public opinion in Mexico.
Chapter
Writing in the 1960s, the Ghanaian novelist Ayi Kwei Armah wrote about postcolonial failure and the frustration and disillusionment that followed in his home country Ghana and all over the rest of Africa. In the book, which is set in a fictional country, a coup that overthrows a corrupt system gives the protagonist hope that the new people would make things right, that the new ones would be born, only to be frustrated. Like the protagonist in this plot, much of Africa had hoped only to be frustrated. It might have taken a couple of more coups, followed by more new beginnings and births. But finally the beautiful ones are finally born. In this chapter, we look at Africa’s beautiful ones that have overcome the weight of history and continue to radiate hope that democratization is around the corner. The chapter follows the journey of two countries, South Africa and Ghana, that have successfully transitioned to democracy and have consolidated their democratic gains.
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This article examines the cost of the 2011 general elections in Nigeria in real and financial terms. It reviews the regulatory framework for financing the elections and attempts to estimate the costs, drawing on figures and reports published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and reports relating to the financial activities of political parties, candidates and other politicians. It estimates the cost to have been about N566.2-billion, representing about 2% of the gross domestic product. This figure does not include party and campaign financing. The article explores other, nonmonetary, costs, including the loss of life and property in the violence that followed the elections, and concludes that the cost of the elections was too high for the sustenance of democracy. Hopeful that future elections will cost less, it offers suggestions about ways of reducing costs without impinging on the integrity of elections.
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Democracies depend on the support of the general population, but little is known about the determinants of this support. We investigated whether support for democracy increases with the length of time spent under the system and whether preferences are thus affected by the political system. Relying on 380,000 individual-level observations from 104 countries over the years 1994 to 2013, and exploiting individual-level variation within a country and a given year in the length of time spent under democracy, we find evidence that political preferences are endogenous. For new democracies, our findings imply that popular support needs time to develop. For example, the effect of around 8.5 more years of democratic experience corresponds to the difference in support for democracy between primary and secondary education. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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Between 1974 and 1990 more than thirty countries in southern Europe, Latin America, East Asia, and Eastern Europe shifted from authoritarian to democratic systems of government. This global democratic revolution is probably the most important political trend in the late twentieth century. In The Third Wave,Samuel P. Huntington analyzes the causes and nature of these democratic transitions, evaluates the prospects for stability of the new democracies, and explores the possibility of more countries becoming democratic. The recent transitions, he argues, are the third major wave of democratization in the modem world. Each of the two previous waves was followed by a reverse wave in which some countries shifted back to authoritarian government. Using concrete examples, empirical evidence, and insightful analysis, Huntington provides neither a theory nor a history of the third wave, but an explanation of why and how it occurred. Factors responsible for the democratic trend include the legitimacy dilemmas of authoritarian regimes; economic and social development; the changed role of the Catholic Church; the impact of the United States, the European Community, and the Soviet Union; and the "snowballing" phenomenon: change in one country stimulating change in others. Five key elite groups within and outside the nondemocratic regime played roles in shaping the various ways democratization occurred. Compromise was key to all democratizations, and elections and nonviolent tactics also were central. New democracies must deal with the "torturer problem" and the "praetorian problem" and attempt to develop democratic values and processes. Disillusionment with democracy, Huntington argues, is necessary to consolidating democracy. He concludes the book with an analysis of the political, economic, and cultural factors that will decide whether or not the third wave continues. Several "Guidelines for Democratizers" offer specific, practical suggestions for initiating and carrying out reform. Huntington's emphasis on practical application makes this book a valuable tool for anyone engaged in the democratization process. At this volatile time in history, Huntington's assessment of the processes of democratization is indispensable to understanding the future of democracy in the world.
  • Michael Bratton
  • Robert Mattes
  • E Gyimah-Boadi
Michael Bratton, Robert Mattes, and E. Gyimah-Boadi, Public Opinion, Democracy, and Market Reform in Africa (New York: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2005).