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WP93: Traditional leaders in modern Africa: Can democracy and the chief co-exist?

The role of traditional leaders in modern Africa, especially in modern African democracies, is complex and multifaceted. The debate is defined by “traditionalists” and “modernists.” Traditionalists regard Africa’s traditional chiefs and elders as the true representatives of their people, accessible, respected, and legitimate, and therefore still essential to politics on the continent. “Modernists,” by contrast, view traditional authority as a gerontocratic, chauvinistic, authoritarian and increasingly irrelevant form of rule that is antithetical to democracy.

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WP94: Rejecting the disloyal opposition? The trust gap in mass attitudes toward ruling and opposition parties in Africa

Analysts of African political party systems frequently assert that political parties and party system development are central to the effective functioning and eventual consolidation of democracy on the continent. Due to both lack of data and elite bias, analysts have overlooked a critical link in the chain of party system evolution: mass attitudes toward political parties generally, and towards opposition parties in particular. Afrobarometer data reveals that there is, on average, a very large (20-percentage point) gap in levels of public trust between ruling and opposition parties.

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WP100: The trans-Atlantic slave trade and the evolution of mistrust in Africa: An empirical investigation

Trust is increasingly perceived as having significant effect on trade, public goods provision, conflict resolution and even democratic consolidation. In this paper we investigate the historical determinants of trust within Africa, by testing for a long-term impact of the intensity of the slave trades on the level of interpersonal trust and trust in local institutions.

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WP108: The quality of democracy and governance in Africa: New results from Afrobarometer Round 4

Since 1999, the Afrobarometer has conducted more than 105,000 interviews to collect data on the attitudes and behaviors of ordinary Africans in reforming polities and economies across the continent. One of the project’s key goals has been to open a window onto how average citizens understand their political, social and economic milieu. While we have often had a great deal of information on the attitudes and behaviors of African elites, the orientations of the general public towards political and economic change have, to a considerable extent, been unknown, undervalued and ignored. 

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WP110: Looking toward the future: Alternations in power and popular perspectives on democratic durability in Africa

Can democracy consolidate in electoral systems without power alternations? Using public attitude data collected by the Afrobarometer in 16 sub-Saharan African countries (2005-6), as well as country-level variables, this study examines how alternations in power resulting from electoral contests affect mass perceptions of the durability of democracy. Periodic alternation among power holders widens the pool of those who feel that they have a stake in the system, and reminds elected officials that they can be held accountable by voters.

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WP118: The ethnicity distraction? Political credibility and partisan preferences in Africa

Much of the research on ethnicity, development and conflict implicitly assumes that ethnic groups act collectively in pursuit of their interests. Collective political action is typically facilitated by political parties able to make credible commitments to pursue group interests. Other work, however, emphasizes the lack of political credibility as a source of adverse development outcomes. Evidence presented here uses partisan preferences across 16 Sub-Saharan African countries to distinguish these positions.

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WP119: Citizen perceptions of local government responsiveness in sub-Saharan Africa

This paper examines local government performance from the perspective of users, with special attention to questions of responsiveness, representation and accountability. The results both confirm and challenge conventional wisdom. One one hand, we verify that popular assessments of political accountability at the local level are driven by instrumental attitudes about government performance.

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WP120: Urban-rural differences in support for incumbents across Africa

Across sub-Saharan Africa support for incumbent governments is significantly higher among rural residents than urbanites, although the magnitude of this difference varies across countries. In this paper I use public opinion data from the Afrobarometer Survey Series to provide systematic evidence of this urban-rural difference in incumbent support in 18 African countries.

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WP121: Political participation in Africa: Participatory inequalities and the role of resources

The aim of this paper is to examine the role of individual resource endowments for explaining individual and group variation in African political participation. Drawing on new data for more than 27 000 respondents in 20 emerging African democracies, the empirical findings suggest surprisingly weak explanatory power of the resource perspective, both for explaining individual variation and observed group inequalities in participation. In several cases, the relatively resource poor groups participate to a greater extent than the relatively resource rich.

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WP123: Democratizing the measurement of democratic quality: Public attitude data and the evaluation of African political regimes

Diamond and Morlino (2005) propose a quality of democracy framework that includes eight dimensions, but they suggest that only one of these – responsiveness ­­– is susceptible to measurement using public opinion data. However, we argue that citizen experiences and evaluations are essential pieces of data which may enable us to capture valid “insider” or “ground-up” measures of democratic procedures and substance that may be missed by expert judges and macro-level indicators. In this paper we develop indicators based on public attitude data for all eight dimensions of democracy.

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WP125: Ethnicity and the willingness to sanction violent politicians: Evidence from Kenya

In Africa, it is often presumed that ethnicity shapes individuals' evaluations of politicians, and individuals would be particularly likely to rely on ethnic cues where violence or other personal experiences render ethnicity more salient. This paper examines whether individuals' ethnicity affects evaluations of politicians who use election violence or violate other democratic norms. The paper draws on data from a novel survey-embedded experiment conducted by the author in six slums in Nairobi, Kenya, in July 2009.

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WP128: The roots of resilience: Exploring popular support for African traditional authorities

By 2010, it has become clear that in most of Africa, traditional authorities are a resilient lot, just as much a part of the “modern” political landscape as any constitution, legislature or local council. Analysts have proposed a wide array of possible explanations for this phenomenon, focusing variously on sources of legitimacy, issues of performance or function, and leadership qualities.

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WP130: When politicians cede control of resources: Land, chiefs and coalition-building in Africa

Why would politicians give up power over the allocation of critical resources to community leaders? This article examines why many African governments have ceded power over the allocation of land to non-elected traditional leaders. In contrast to the existing literature, which suggests traditional leaders’ power is a hang-over from the colonial period that has not been eliminated due to weak state capacity, I argue that African politicians often choose to devolve power to traditional leaders as a means of mobilizing electoral support from non-coethnics.

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WP134: Sources of state legitimacy in contemporary South Africa: A theory of political goods

A key question confronting states that have recently transitioned from authoritarian rule is how to legitimate institutions of the state. No longer charged with serving the narrow interests of a strong and powerful minority, state institutions are often faced with the challenge of transforming in a way that allows them to garner the trust and willing obedience of the majority. The question of the sources of state legitimacy is particularly pertinent in emerging democracies where trust in institutions is often shallow and the authority of the state remains contested.

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WP141: Pre-colonial political centralization and contemporary development in Uganda

The effects of pre-colonial history on contemporary African development have become an important field of study within development economics in recent years. In particular Gennaioli and Rainer (2007) suggest that pre-colonial political centralization has had a positive impact on contemporary levels of development within Africa at the country level. We test the Gennaioli and Rainer (2007) hypothesis at the sub-national level for the first time with evidence from Uganda.

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Forte majorité des Africains soutiennent la limitation des mandats présidentiels; les efforts des leaders de prolonger leur règne vont à l’encontre des préférences des citoyens

S’opposant aux efforts de certains leaders africains de prolonger leur mandats, la majorité des Africains soutiennent la limitation des mandats présidentiels à deux, selon une nouvelle analyse d’Afrobaromètre.

Les enquêtes de plus que 51,600 citoyens dans 34 pays révèlent que le soutien des limites des mandats présidentiels est l’avis majoritaire dans tous les pays sauf un (l’Algérie).

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Une majorité d’Africains estiment que les conditions économiques nationales sont mauvaises

De nouvelles conclusions de l’Afrobaromètre, tirées d’enquêtes réalisées dans 34 pays – chiffre sans précédent – entre octobre 2011 et juin 2013, révèlent un mécontentement général vis-à-vis des conditions économiques actuelles, et ce malgré une décennie de forte croissance.

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Les Togolais sont favorables à la limitation des mandats présidentiels

Plus de quatre Togolais sur cinq sont favorables au principe de la limitation du nombre de mandats présidentiels, selon une nouvelle enquête d’Afrobarométre.

Dans l'enquête national représentative menée en Octobre 2014, 85% des répondants se prononcent d’accord – y compris 60% qui sont « tout à fait d’accord » -- avec l’affirmation que « La Constitution devrait limiter l’exercice de la fonction du président de la République à
un maximum de deux mandats ». Seulement 13% s’opposent à une telle limite.

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Une majorité de Burundais soutiennent la limitation des mandats présidentiels à deux

Selon une nouvelle enquête d’Afrobaromètre, six Burundais sur 10 (62%) soutiennent la limitation des mandats présidentiels à deux – une évolution remarquable dans l’opinion publique entre 2012 et 2014.

En 2012, seuls 51% de citoyens burundais étaient favorables à la limitation des mandats. La nouvelle majorité pourrait signifier qu’au fur et à mesure qu’on s’approche des élections, et surtout au fil des débats sur la question, le nombre de personnes opposé au troisième mandat présidentiel augmente.

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Les Burkinabé sont favorables à la limitation des mandats présidentiels

Les deux tiers des Burkinabé sont favorables au principe de la limitation du nombre de mandats présidentiels, selon la dernière enquête d’Afrobarométre.

Dans l'enquête menée en Décembre 2012, 65% des répondants se sont prononcés d’accord – y compris 42% qui été « tout à fait d’accord » -- avec l’affirmation selon laquelle « La Constitution devrait limiter l’exercice de la fonction du président du Burkina Faso à deux mandats ». Cette proportion s’est même accrue de 11 points entre 2008 et 2012, avec des majorités en milieu urbain (77%) comme en milieu rural (60%).

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Les Burkinabé rejettent le concept du régime militaire

Plus de six Burkinabé sur 10 rejettent le régime militaire comme système gouvernemental, selon la dernière enquête d’Afrobarométre.

Dans l'enquête menée en Décembre 2012, 62% des répondants se sont prononcés en désaccord – y compris 27% qui étaient « tout à fait en désaccord » -- avec un système gouvernemental dans lequel l’armée dirige le pays, contre 24% qui en approuvent. Cette désapprobation s’est accrue de 12 points depuis l’enquête Afrobarométre de 2008, dans laquelle 50% rejetaient le concept du régime militaire.

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PP5: Une politique gouvernementale décevante : les Africains privilégient la qualité à la quantité en matière de services sociaux

Dans 34 pays africains, les opinions populaires sur l’efficacité du gouvernement à fournir des services domestiques (eau et assainissement, électricité) sont défavorables et en déclin, celles sur les services publics (santé, éducation) sont un peu plus favorables, mais également en déclin, et de nombreux Africains constatent de graves lacunes dans la prestation de ces services. La lutte contre le VIH et le sida est la principale exception : les efforts des gouvernements sont bien notés et la tendance montre une amélioration.

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PP11: La demande de démocratie augmente en Afrique, mais la plupart des dirigeants politiques ne répondent pas aux attente

Les Africains expriment leur attachement croissant à la démocratie d’après les sondages d’opinion menés par l’Afrobaromètre dans 34 pays. Sept Africains sur dix préfèrent la démocratie à tout autre régime politique et la proportion de démocrates très engagés (c’est-à-dire ceux qui rejettent aussi les autres options autoritaires) a augmenté régulièrement ces dix dernières années.

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PP13: Les Maliens veulent un pays uni et que justice soit faite au lendemain du conflit

Selon une enquête de l’Afrobaromètre réalisée en décembre 2013 auprès de plus de 2 400 participants,  la grande majorité des Maliens insistent sur le fait que leur pays doit rester une seule et même nation unifiée. Les citoyens rejettent fermement la tentative de groupes armés de créer un état dissident dans les territoires du Nord Mali en 2012.

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La gouvernance

La demande pour et la satisfaction avec un gouvernement efficace, redevable, et propre; les analyses de la performance globale du gouvernement et la prestation des services sociaux.

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