Basotho perceive an increased level of corruption in the past year, with the highest levels of perceived corruption among the police and business executives, according to Afrobarometer’s most recent survey. Survey results show that citizens are divided in their assessment of the government’s handling of the fight against corruption.
Sometimes you complete a study, release the results, and then … listen to the resounding silence.
Other times your results hit a nerve – and the nerve tries to hit back, attacking everything from your findings to your methodology to the integrity of your intentions.
Then there are occasions – still too rare – when the initial emotional backlash is followed by a willingness to consider the possibility that the voices of everyday citizens might actually be worth hearing and acting on.
Some key findings from this Policy Paper:
- The latest Afrobarometer survey finds that two-thirds (66%) of Kenyans believe that their national judiciary treats people unequally. Almost nine in 10 (86%) say that ordinary citizens who break the law “never” or “rarely” go unpunished, while only 20% say that this is the case for public officials.
Blog post by Daniel Armah-Attoh
Ghana’s place at the forefront of African democracy and good governance has been called into question by a recent series of corruption scandals. Quite dishearteningly, some public officials have been found defending alleged wrongdoers in media discussion programs, and some whistle-blowers suffered reprisals instead of being protected.
The findings at a glance:
- Perceptions of corruption on increase since 2002
- Government anti-corruption efforts seen to be inadequate
- Majority of citizens think there is nothing ordinary people can do to fight corruption
- Institutional trust is on the increase since 2002
Graph: Perceived increase in corruption| 2015
Increasing public perceptions of institutional corruption in Uganda appear to be eroding public trust in state institutions, the latest Afrobarometer survey suggests.
Most Ugandans believe corruption increased during the past year, and public trust in Parliament, the courts, and local government decreased between 2012 and 2015. Striking exceptions are trust in the president and the police; public trust in these institutions increased.
Most Ugandans say corruption increased in the past year, and less than half of them think ordinary citizens can make a difference in the anti-corruption fight, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey.
The proportion of Ugandans who mention corruption as a major problem for government to solve rose from 4% in 2002 to 19% in 2015, but government response continues to be seen as inadequate. A sizeable number report having paid bribes to obtain public services.
Some of the key findings:
Elections are thought to bolster legitimacy by providing fair mechanisms for selecting leaders. In Africa, where competitive elections are often unfamiliar and imperfect, losers express much less support for their political institutions than do winners. Analysis of Round 1 Afrobarometer survey data from more than 20,000 respondents in 12 countries demonstrates that losers are less inclined than winners to trust their political institutions, consent to government authority, and feel that voting matters.
Transitions to competitive, multiparty politics in African countries during the 1990s were jubilantly welcomed, both on the continent and internationally. Today, Africans enjoy unprecedented opportunities to vote, and many still revel in greater individual and political freedoms. But the full potential of democracy – including the promise of accountable governance – has yet to be fulfilled. Why has democracy – or, at least, multiparty elections – so far failed to secure better governance and greater accountability?
In this paper I offer an argument I call the “inequality trap”–how high inequality leads to low trust in out-groups and then to high levels of corruption–and back to higher levels of corruption.
This paper evaluates the extent to which expressive voting can explain Malawi’s regional census. Specifically, are Malawians who hold regional identities more likely to be regional partisans than Malawians who identify differently? The paper does not seek to wholly reject or accept the identity hypothesis, but rather to plumb the boundaries of its explanatory power: How far can it go in explaining the census? Are there regions of the country that it explains better than others?
The paper examines the effect of democratization on income inequality in third-wave democracies. Using data from the World Income Inequality Database, this paper will show that income inequality has risen sharply in almost every third-wave democracy. This paper attempts to explain why income inequality rises at much faster rates in developing nations vis-à-vis developed nations. The paper argue that the key to solving this puzzle lies in a better understanding of the patterns of democratization and the consequences of corruption in new democracies.
This paper addresses the corruption-trust nexus with survey data and statistical methods. Data are drawn from the Afrobarometer, a comparative series of national public attitude surveys on democracy, markets and civil society in selected African countries. This paper confirms that corruption is a major, perhaps the major, obstacle to building popular trust in state institutions and electoral processes in Africa.
The vast majority of empirical studies focus mainly on the indirect effects of corruption on poverty using cross-section analyses of macroeconomic aggregates (growth, investment, public expenditure, etc.). To date, relatively few studies have set out to explain the logic of individual behaviour in the face of corruption and the direct effects of this scourge on the poor.
This paper explores the types of rationality that underlie popular choices of political regime in societies that recently completed a transition towards democracy. We discuss the nature of the rational bases used for preference formation by focusing on urban Brazilians. Our attention is centered on the balance between survey respondents’ evaluation of democratic performance and their views of the efficacy of democracy to solve their country’s problems. We also examine the joint impact of these attitudes on molding citizens’ preferences for a particular type of government in Brazil.
Vote buying and political intimidation are important, if epiphenomenal, dimensions of Nigerian election campaigns. According to survey-based estimates, fewer than one out of five Nigerians is personally exposed to vote buying and fewer than one in ten experiences threats of electoral violence. But when, as commonly happens, campaign irregularities are targeted at the rural poor, effects are concentrated. These effects are as follows: violence reduces turnout; and vote buying enhances partisan loyalty.
Vote-buying has and continues to be pervasive in many electoral regimes. Yet the relationship between vote-buying and citizen behavior, particularly in the context of the secret ballot, remains largely unknown. In this paper I study vote-buying’s effect on voter turnout in Kenya, using a nationally representative survey that includes questions about the country's 2002 presidential and parliamentary elections.
Corruption is a major source of slow development in Africa – the poorest region of the world. While extant research has focused on the causes and consequences of corruption at the macro-level, less effort has been devoted to understanding the micro-foundation of corruption, as well as the mechanisms through which poverty may be related to corruption and bribery. In this paper, we develop a simple model of the relationship between poverty and corruption. The model suggests that poor people are more likely to be victims of corrupt behavior by street-level government bureaucrats.
Une majorité des habitants des 34 pays africains condamnent les efforts de leurs gouvernements en matière de lutte contre la corruption, selon les enquêtes réalisées par Afrobaromètre auprès de 51 000 citoyens entre octobre 2011 et juin 2013.
Une des conclusions de cette étude présentée à Dakar, le 13 Novembre 2013, est que les citoyens des pays africains considèrent que leurs gouvernements ont failli dans leur lutte pour endiguer la corruption.
La majorité des Africains soutiennent des média indépendantes qui enquêtent et publient sur les performances gouvernementales et la corruption, selon une nouvelle analyse des données d’Afrobaromètre.
Les sondages concernés, qui représentent plus que trois-quarts de la population du continent, montrent que 57% des Africains demandent une presse libre, même si certains pays et certaines régions tolèrent plus d’ingérence gouvernementale que d’autres. Les citoyens moins instruits sont moins enclins de soutenir des média indépendantes.
La liberté d’expression n’est pas seulement précieuse en tant qu’aboutissement démocratique. Elle est fortement corrélée à la perception populaire de l’efficacité des médias et de la qualité de gouvernance, selon les nouvelles données de l’Afrobaromètre, recueillies lors d’entretiens réalisés en face à face avec 51 605 personnes dans 34 pays au cours de la période 2011–2013.
Une majorité des habitants des 34 pays africains condamnent les efforts de leurs gouvernements en matière de lutte contre la corruption, selon les enquêtes réalisées par Afrobaromètre auprès de plus de 51 000 citoyens entre octobre 2011 et juin 2013.
Dans l'enquête Afrobaromètre de décembre 2012, les maliens mettaient en avant comme étant les premières causes, de la grave crise sociopolitique que traversait leur pays, le manque de patriotisme des dirigeants et la faiblesse de l'Etat. En ce temps, la plupart des maliens avaient perdu confiance en la classe politique et en les politiciens. Une année plus tard, cependant, une enquête Afrobaromètre de suivi (décembre 2013) révèle que les terroristes étrangers et la corruption sont plutôt les deux premières causes du conflit et de l'occupation du Nord.