This paper asks whether a country’s choice of electoral system affects the methods citizens use to try to hold their government accountable. A large body of literature suggests that electoral system type has an impact on voting behaviour, but little work has been done on its effects on other strategies for democratic accountability, such as contacting an elected representative and protesting. Using data from 36 African countries, we find that the type of electoral system has a significant relationship with these forms of participation.
While personal insecurity in Africa is typically associated with civil wars, crime is actually a far more common threat to the continent’s citizens. Rates of homicide, sexual assault, and property crime in Africa are often far higher than global averages. Despite such threats, many Africans do not report crimes to the police.
In this paper, we provide evidence on how the provision of social infrastructure such as reliable electricity can be leveraged to increase taxation in developing countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). First, using comprehensive data from the latest round of the Afrobarometer survey, we estimate, via the instrumental variable approach, the effect of access and reliability of electricity on tax compliance attitudes of citizens in 36 SSA countries.
In addition to the growing number of African states that conduct regular elections and embed democratic principles in their constitutions, evidence comes from survey-based research that most Africans support democratic values and reward governments that adhere to democratic rules (Mattes & Bratton, 2007; Bratton & Mattes, 2001). However, in many countries, citizen demand for democracy is not met by supply of democracy (Mattes & Bratton, 2016) as governments, once elected, fail to respect the norms of democratic governance (Gyimah-Boadi, 2015).
Fieldwork completed in 2017.
In any economy, balancing expenditures, revenues, and debts is a delicate and often politicized task. Competing interests and priorities buffet those tasked with planning a viable and stable national budget. For any state, taxes raised from individuals and businesses are a central plinth supporting the provision of services, the maintenance of infrastructure, the employment of civil servants, and the smooth functioning of the state.
Because of a perceived risk of repressive action, some survey questions are likely sensitive in more autocratic countries while less so in more democratic countries. Yet survey data on potentially sensitive topics are frequently used in comparative research despite concerns about comparability.
In most African countries, substantial barriers still inhibit citizens’ access to justice, a new Afrobarometer analysis finds.
Based on a special access-to-justice module in national surveys in 36 African countries, the sobering report identifies long delays, high costs, corruption, the complexity of legal processes, and a lack of legal counsel as major obstacles for citizens seeking legal remedies.
Dozens of African countries regularly conduct national and local elections.
Each election picks a winner.
But beyond winners and losers, the quality of each election also shapes how people feel about their political system in general.
Free and fair elections make people want more democracy.
Elections tainted by repression, fraud, or violence have the opposite effect.
So how good are Africa’s elections?
Afrobarometer surveyed more than 53,000 citizens in 36 countries, in every region of Africa.
A decade-long upward trend in African citizens’ demand for democracy has ended with a downward turn since 2012, according to a new Afrobarometer analysis.
But despite warning signs of a democratic recession, public demand for democracy remains higher than a decade ago, and most Africans still say they want more democracy than they’re actually getting – a good basis for future democratic gains.
One important factor: the quality of elections. African countries with high-quality elections are more likely to show increases in popular demand for democracy.
Round 6 Codebook for Gabon.
- On average across 36 African countries, China is the second-most-popular model for national development (cited by 24% of respondents), trailing only the United States of America (30%). About one in 10 respondents prefer their former colonial power (13%) or South Africa (11%) as a model.
Supporters of Gabonese opposition leader Jean Ping face security forces (unseen) blocking the demonstration trying to reach the electoral commission in Libreville on August 31. Image coutesy of the 'The Monkey Cage Blog'.
- Across 36 African countries, fewer than half of respondents say they trust their MPs (48%) and local councillors (46%) “somewhat” or “a lot.” Among 12 public institutions and leaders, MPs and local councillors rank eighth and ninth in public trust.
Only half of Africans trust their national electoral commissions, and many fear violence and unfair practices during election campaigns, according to a new report by Afrobarometer.
Behind Gabon’s eruption in post-election conflict, its citizens are among the strongest in Africa in their support for multiparty democracy and their rejection of non-democratic alternatives, a new analysis by Afrobarometer shows.
Among 36 African countries surveyed in 2014/2015, Gabon ranks near the top in favouring multiparty competition and term limits on presidents, as well as in disapproving of one-party and one-man rule, according to citizen responses collected in September and October 2015.
Gabon’s presidential election dispute is playing out against a background of overwhelming public distrust of the national election commission (CENAP) and strikingly negative assessments of the country’s election environment in advance of the August 2016 vote, a new analysis by Afrobarometer shows.
Among 36 African countries surveyed in 2014/2015, Gabon ranks at or near the bottom on every indicator of election quality and fairness, according to citizen responses collected in September and October 2015.
- Across 36 countries in 2014/2015, Africans express more trust in informal institutions such as religious and traditional leaders (72% and 61% respectively) than in the formal executive agencies of the state (on average 54%).
- That said, people find certain executive agencies, such as the national army and the state presidency, to be quite trustworthy (64% and 57% respectively), especially when compared with legislative and electoral institutions (47% and 44% respectively).
Political and civic engagement by African youth is declining and is particularly weak among young women, according to new Afrobarometer survey findings.
The findings, which are being released on International Youth Day 2016 (August 12), show African youth are less likely than their elders to engage in a variety of political and civic activities, including voting, attending community meetings, joining others to raise an issue, and contacting leaders. Young women express significantly less interest in public affairs than young men.
ONLY AVAILABLE IN FRENCH.
La libre circulation en Afrique centrale: La grande majorité de Gabonais affirment la difficulté à traverser les frontières internationales, mais se prononcent largement pour que le Gouvernement protège les citoyens et limite la circulation transfrontalière.
ONLY AVAILABLE IN FRENCH.
D’après la plus récente enquête Afrobaromètre au Gabon, la grande majorité de Gabonais affirment la difficulté à traverser les frontières internationales, mais se prononcent largement pour que le Gouvernement protège les citoyens et limite la circulation transfrontalière.
Gabon Round 6 questionnaire
Selon la récente enquête Afrobaromètre menée en septembre 2015 au Gabon, plus de la moitié des Gabonaise pensent que les problèmes auxquels le pays fait face sont essentiellement la santé, l’éducation, le chômage et les infrastructures routières.
Aussi, deux tiers des Gabonais déclarent que si le Gouvernement devait faire des d’investissements additionnels, la priorité doit être accordée à l’éducation et à la santé.
Par ailleurs, plus de trois quarts des Gabonais déclarent que la performance du Gouvernement en matière de création d’emplois est mauvaise.
For advocates of regional integration as a path toward economic and political power for Africa, Afrobarometer’s latest survey findings suggest that many citizens still need to be convinced of the benefits of integration.
Amid growing concerns about government restrictions on media freedom, Africans overwhelmingly support an independent media that holds government accountable, according to new survey findings from Afrobarometer.
The findings, which are being released on World Press Freedom Day (May 3), show that a majority of African citizens support the media’s “watchdog” role, see the media as effective in revealing government mistakes and corruption, and affirm that journalists “rarely” or “never” abuse their freedom by publishing lies.
D’après la plus récente enquête Afrobaromètre, les Gabonais estiment majoritairement non seulement que le pays va dans la mauvaise direction, mais que les conditions économiques ne vont pas s’améliorer au cours des 12 mois à venir.
Les résultats suggèrent que les Gabonais estiment majoritairement que leur situation personnelle du moment est demeurée identique ou s’est empirée comparativement aux 12 derniers mois. De même, les citoyens jugent insuffisant la performance du gouvernement dans la gestion de l’économie et la stabilité des prix.
Almost half of Africans go without needed health care, and one in seven have to pay bribes to obtain needed care, according to new findings from Afrobarometer.
Released on World Health Day (April 7), the survey findings show that citizens across 36 African countries rank health care as their second-most-important national problem and priority for additional government investment. Public ratings of government performance in improving basic health services have worsened over the past decade: Almost half of Africans say their government is doing “fairly” or “very” badly.