Croke, Kevin, Guy Grossman, Horacio A. Larreguy, and John Marshall -
Deliberate disengagement: How education decreases political participation in electoral authoritarian regimes
A large literature examining advanced and consolidating democracies suggests that education increases political participation. However, in electoral authoritarian regimes, educated voters may instead deliberately disengage. If education increases critical capacities, political awareness, and support for democracy, educated citizens may believe that participation is futile or legitimates autocrats. We test this argument in Zimbabwe – a paradigmatic electoral authoritarian regime – by exploiting cross-cohort variation in access to education following a major educational reform. We find that education decreases political participation, substantially reducing the likelihood that better-educated citizens vote, contact politicians, or attend community meetings. Consistent with deliberate disengagement, education’s negative effect on participation dissipated following 2008’s more competitive election, which (temporarily) initiated unprecedented power sharing. Supporting the mechanisms underpinning our hypothesis, educated citizens experience better economic outcomes, are more interested in politics and more supportive of democracy, but are also more likely to criticize the government and support opposition parties.
Bleck, Jaimie and Kristin Michelitch -
On the primacy of weak public service provision in rural Africa: Malians redefine ‘state breakdown’ amidst 2012 political crisis
In 2012, Mali faced a dual state breakdown disrupting nearly 20 years of democratization – a coup and a secessionist insurgency. This paper provides the perspectives of rural Malians living on the border of state- and rebel-controlled territory. Our main finding is that villagers defined “the crisis” as one of unmet need for public services and infrastructure. State breakdown matters less where the state is not present in the first place. Rather than the state, villagers were largely reliant on local traditional authorities. The salience of villagers’ concerns about public services and infrastructure, as well as general basic needs insecurity, are echoed in cross-national Afrobarometer data (2012-2013) on public service provision across rural and urban citizens. In nearly all sub-Saharan African countries, the urban-rural gap is large, absolute levels of rural provision are low, and countries are inconsistent in provision across indicators. We conclude by drawing implications of weak state public service and infrastructure provision for citizenship in rural areas.
Leo, Benjamin, Robert Morello, and Vijaya Ramachandran -
The face of African infrastructure: Service availability and citizens’ demands
The need for infrastructure improvements is a top-tier economic, political, and social issue in nearly every African country. Although the academic and policy literature is extensive in terms of estimating the impact of infrastructure deficits on economic and social indicators, very few studies have examined citizen demands for infrastructure. In this paper, we draw upon survey data to move beyond top-line estimates of national infrastructure access rates toward a more nuanced understanding of service availability and citizen demands at the regional, national, and sub-national levels. We find a predictable pattern of infrastructure services across income levels – lower-income countries have fewer services. The survey data also allows us to observe the sequencing of infrastructure services. On the demand side, survey respondents are most concerned with jobs and income-related issues, as well as with the availability of infrastructure, specifically transportation and sanitation. These priorities transcend demographic factors, including gender and location (urban/rural).
Gottlieb, Jessica, Guy Grossman, and Amanda Lea Robinson -
Do men and women have different policy preferences, and if so, why?
Gender quotas to increase women’s representation are often motivated by the assumption that men and women have different policy preferences. In Africa – where gender quotas have been particularly widespread – we find that gender differences in preferences are quite small on average, but vary significantly across both policy domains and countries. We propose a theoretical framework for differentiating policy domains where preference divergence indicates increased gender parity from those where it signifies growing inequality. We then demonstrate that favourable gender gaps increase with female labour-force participation, while unfavourable gaps are more likely where women are most vulnerable. We show that these gender gaps in preferences are related to gender gaps in both political participation and representation.
Mattes, Robert and Samantha Richmond -
Are South Africa’s youth really a ‘ticking time bomb’?
Mattes, Robert -
South Africa’s emerging black middle class: A harbinger of political change?
Cheeseman, Nic -
Does the African middle class defend democracy?
Schaub, Max -
Solidarity with a sharp edge: Communal conflict and local collective action in rural Nigeria
Peiffer, Caryn and Richard Rose -
Why do some Africans pay bribes while other Africans don't?
Ellis, Erin -
A Vote of Confidence: Retrospective Voting in Africa
Hollard, Guillaume and Omar Sene -
What Drives Quality of Schools in Africa? Disentangling Social Capital and Ethnic Divisions
Dionne, Kim Yi, Kris L. Inman and Gabriella R. Montinola -
Another Resource Curse? The Impact of Remittances on Political Participation
Carlson, Elizabeth -
Social Desirability Bias and Reported Vote Preferences in African Surveys
Ali, Merima, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad and Ingrid Hoem Sjursen -
To Pay or Not to Pay? Citizens’ Attitudes Towards Taxation in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa
Bodenstein, Thilo -
Ethnicity and Individual Attitudes Towards International Investors: Survey Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa
Bandyopadhyay, Sanghamitra and Elliott Green -
Pre-Colonial Political Centralization and Contemporary Development in Uganda
Sacks, Audrey -
Can Donors And Non-State Actors Undermine Citizens’ Legitimating Beliefs?
Justesen, Mogens K. and Christian Bjørnskov -
Exploiting the Poor: Bureaucratic Corruption and Poverty in Africa
De Luca, Giacomo and Marijke Verpoorten -
From Vice to Virtue? Civil War and Social Capital in Uganda
Kerr, Nicholas -
Perceptions versus Reality: Assessing Popular Evaluations of Election Quality in Africa
Resnick, Danielle and Daniela Casale -
Political Participation of Africa’s Youth: Turnout, Partisanship and Protest
Conroy-Krutz, Jeffrey and Carolyn Logan -
Museveni and the 2011 Ugandan Election: Did The Money Matter?
Carter, Danielle -
Sources of State Legitimacy in Contemporary South Africa: A Theory of Political Goods
Justesen, Mogens K. -
Too Poor to Care? The Salience of Aids in Africa
Kasara, Kimuli -
Separate and Suspicious: Local Social and Political Context and Ethnic Tolerance in Kenya
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