Democracy

Subscribe to RSS - Democracy

Donec ullamcorper nulla non metus auctor fringilla. Sed posuere consectetur est at lobortis. Integer posuere erat a ante venenatis dapibus posuere velit aliquet. Duis mollis, est non commodo luctus, nisi erat porttitor ligula, eget lacinia odio sem nec elit. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer posuere erat a ante venenatis dapibus posuere velit aliquet. Fusce dapibus, tellus ac cursus commodo, tortor mauris condimentum nibh, ut fermentum massa justo sit amet risus.

Icon: 
English

WP52: Seeking the democratic dividend: Public attitudes and attempted reform in Nigeria

In this paper, we particularly investigate how basic preferences, or values, about the political and economic systems in Nigeria relate to one another. Another crucial question is how citizens’ preferences for a democratic regime (or a particular type of economy, whether market-oriented or government-controlled) are influenced by their assessments of current government policy and performance.

English

PP17: Contesting and turning over power: Implications for consolidation of democracy in Lesotho

Since its transition to electoral democracy in 1993, Lesotho has experienced a series of upheavals related to the electoral process. Election results were vehemently contested in 1998, when the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) won all but one of the country’s constituencies under a first-past-the-post electoral system, and a military intervention by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was required to restore order.

English

PP9: Mali’s public mood reflects newfound hope

In an Afrobarometer survey in December 2012, three quarters of adult Malians were worried that the country was moving in “the wrong direction.”  At that time, at the depths of a profound national crisis, most Malians thought the future looked bleak.  A year later, however, a follow-up survey reveals newfound hope in the future.  By December 2013, two thirds of all Malians now consider that that the country is headed in the “right direction.”

English

PP11: Demand for democracy is rising in Africa, but most political leaders fail to deliver

Africans express growing attachment to democracy according to citizen attitude surveys conducted by the Afrobarometer in 34 countries1. Seven out of ten Africans prefer democracy to other political regimes, and the proportion of deeply committed democrats (that is, those who also reject authoritarian alternatives) has risen steadily over the past decade.

English

PP12: Malian democracy recovering - Military rule still admired

Democracy, in the famous words of the British politician Winston Churchill, “is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” After experiencing a twin crisis of separatist rebellion and a military coup in 2012, there were serious concerns about the future prospects of democracy in Mali. Would the short, but brutal, experience of authoritarian rule and a separatist struggle make the return to democracy possible in the short to medium term? Would the country rediscover its position as one of Africa’s promising democracies?

English

WP49: Electoral institutions, partisan status, and political support: A natural experiment from Lesotho

Does the introduction of proportionality in electoral systems help to boost popular evaluations of democracy? This article traces shifts over time in political support, using Afrobarometer data to measure mass satisfaction with democracy and public trust in political institutions in Lesotho. We find that electoral reforms have 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.

English

WP47: Democracy without democrats? Results from the 2003 Afrobarometer survey in Namibia

Based on a national sample survey conducted in Namibia as part of Afrobarometer Round 2, this report finds that, even though democracy is yet to become consolidated at the attitudinal level, Namibia appears to be a "democracy without democrats." Among the key findings supporting this proposition are the following:

English

WP46: Ten years of democracy in Malawi: Are Malawians getting what they voted for?

This report analyses data from the Afrobarometer Round 2 survey conducted in Malawi in May 2003. The results suggest that there is a high demand for democracy in Malawi, but also that Malawians are being supplied with less democracy than they want. They prefer democracy to any other form of government and, for the most part, they reject dictatorial tendencies, although some nostalgia for the authoritarian past is evident. Comparing the demand for and supply of democracy and good governance displays some of the weaknesses in the democratization process that could explain this nostalgia.

English

WP45: Democrats with adjectives: Linking direct and indirect measures of democratic support

Over the past three decades, the worldwide spread of democratic regimes has reinvigorated scholarly interest in mass support for democracy. According to broad strands of literature, a popular “commitment to democratic values, and support for a democratic system, are necessary conditions for the consolidation” of democratic governance (Fuchs 1999: 127).

English

WP43: State building and democratization in sub-Saharan Africa: Forwards, backwards, or together?

Across sub-Saharan Africa, new democracies have emerged mainly in the context of relatively effective states. Using aggregate indicators of governance and new public opinion data, this article shows which aspects of state building are most important. The scope of state infrastructure and the delivery of welfare services have little impact. But the establishment of political order -especially as experienced through improvements in personal security- and the legitimacy of the state -as measured by leaders' adherence to a rule of law- are critical to democratization.

English

WP42: The power of propaganda: Public opinion in Zimbabwe, 2004

This report probes the public mood in Zimbabwe in mid-2004, documents changes in public opinion since 1999, and compares Zimbabwe to other African countries. The results are situated in the context of the country's current economic and political crises. On the economy, we find that Zimbabweans feel economically deprived and report more persistent hunger than in any other country surveyed. On the political front, Zimbabweans are losing faith in democracy and increasing numbers acquiesce to the idea of single-party rule.

English

WP39: Political institutions and satisfaction with democracy in sub-Saharan Africa

Do political institutions affect citizens' satisfaction with democracy? Using cross-sectional Afrobarometer survey data on attitudes toward democracy for 10 sub-Saharan African countries together with country-level data on political institutions in which citizens live, this article demonstrates that political institutions do indeed influence citizens' attitudes toward democratic performance. Political institutions mediate the relationship between citizens' political status - i.e., as winners, non-partisans, or losers - and their satisfaction with the way democracy works in the country.

English

WP36: Patrimonialisme ou autoritarisme attenue: Variations autour de la democratie Senegalaise

Pour répondre à la problématique pose dans ce rapport à savoir la nature de la démocratie sénégalaise et ses performances et contreperformances, l’équipe d’Afrobarometre a réalisé une enquête nationale d’opinion en décembre 2002. L’enquête était basée sur un échantillon de 1200 personnes, âgés d’au moins 18 ans, proportionnellement repartis sur les dix premières régions du pays (Matam est compris dans Saint Louis). Cette enquête intervient dans le cadre de Afrobarometre 2 (série conduite dans 15 pays africains).

English

WP35: Democratie et legitimation du marche: Rapport d'enquête Afrobarometre au Mali

Le thème central de ce deuxième rapport d'enquêtes Afrobaromètre est la perception du rôle du marché dans l'opinion publique malienne et ce dans un contexte de démocratisation. Cette perception est mesurée sur un échantillon aléatoire de 1 286 adultes des deux sexes dans toutes les 8 régions administratives du pays ainsi que dans le district de Bamako.

English

WP33: A new dawn? Popular optimism in Kenya after the transition

The first Kenya Afrobarometer survey was conducted in August-September 2003, just eight months after the first electoral transfer of power in the country's history. This national sample survey included 2398 interviews in all eight provinces of the country. Overall, the survey findings clearly capture the palpable sense of almost unbounded optimism and hope that permeated Kenya in the days and months following the election.

English

WP32: The state of democracy in Lesotho

In 2002,after decades of discontent and oppression, Lesotho went to the polls to elect a government acceptable to the great majority of its citizens. The fears of the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (that the opposition would stir up more trouble) and of the opposition (that their voices would never again be heard) were quieted by the election and installation of a new and much more balanced parliament. Eighty members won a plurality of votes in their constituencies, while another 40 were elected under a complex system of proportional representation.

English

WP31: Learning about democracy in Africa: Awareness, performance, and experience

Conventional views of African politics imply that Africans arrive at political opinions largely on the basis of either their position in the social structure or enduring cultural values. In contrast, we argue that Africans form attitudes to democracy based upon what they learn about what it is and what it does. We test this argument with a unique data set known as Afrobarometer Round 1, which is based on surveys of nationally representative samples of citizens in 12 African countries that have recently undergone political reform.

English

WP30: Development as freedom: A virtuous circle

Since its emergence from a brutal, 17-year civil war, Mozambique's process of political reform has faced a number of challenges. The first has been to empower ordinary Mozambicans by allowing them to participate in a democratic system and enabling them to voice their demands to the state and hold it accountable. The second has been to rebuild a state with the capacity to respond to citizen demands effectively. And given the long history of violent division, a third challenge has been to build a state that enjoys broad legitimacy that can span the bitter partisan divides of the past.

English

WP28: The growth of democracy in Ghana despite economic dissatisfaction: A power alternation bonus?

Almost two years after Ghana's first-ever peaceful transfer of power between political parties in the December 2002 elections, this national study of public opinion seeks to assess political and economic conditions in the country. It evaluates the extent to which democracy and market reforms are taking root, and explores what the people say about current political and economic developments.

English

WP27: Insiders and outsiders: Varying perceptions of democracy and governance in Uganda

The results of a second Afrobarometer survey in Uganda, conducted in August-September 2002, reveal that Ugandans continue to display a considerable degree of satisfaction with both their political and economic systems. But as memories of Uganda's traumatic pre-Movement past fade and the public's focus shifts from internal conflict and recovery to stability and development, there are also indications of increasingly critical assessments of the nation's other problems, especially economic ones, as well as waning patience with the government's efforts to address them.

English

WP25: Democracy, market reform, and social peace in Cape Verde

Among both scholars and visitors, Cape Verde is typically labeled an African exception. Since independence, the island nation has had no wars; its levels of corruption and urban violence are low by African standards; and power has alternated between two parties. The peaceful and negotiated nature of Cape Verde's transition to and practice of democracy is a distinct trait of Capeverdean politics.

English

WP24: Democratic governance in South Africa: The people's view

Eight years into South Africa's experiment with inclusive democracy, we look to the views of ordinary citizens -the ultimate consumers of what democratic governments supply- for perhaps the most conclusive assessment of the quality of democratic governance. In general, all South Africans are becoming more positive about the overall democratic regime, and more optimistic about where it will be in 10 years time.

English

WP23: Poverty, survival and democracy in Southern Africa - 2003

One of the clearest findings of empirical political science is that the prospects for sustaining democratic government in a poor society are far lower than in a relatively wealthy one. Precisely why poverty undermines democracy, however, has been much less clear. In order to answer this question, we use data from seven 1999-2000 Afrobarometer surveys in Southern Africa to develop measures of poverty and well being, as well as its possible consequences both in terms of day-to-day survival, and political attitudes and behaviour.

 

English

WP22: Mozambicans' views of democracy and political reform: A comparative perspective

Mozambique's first democratic multiparty election in 1994 was a national watershed, bringing an end to 17 years of political conflict, instability and civil war, and closing a chapter of over a century of authoritarian rule begun by Portuguese colonization. But what do ordinary Mozambicans think about wha has occurred since then?

English

WP20: Down to earth: Changes in attitudes toward democracy and markets in Nigeria

The second in a series of public opinion surveys in Nigeria on popular attitudes toward democracy and markets was conducted in August 2001. The findings indicate that in the 18 months since the first survey was conducted shortly after the 1999 transition to democracy, Nigerians have come "down to earth" in their assessments of the country's political conditions as post-transition euphoria has given way to greater political realism.

English

WP19: Wide but shallow: Popular support for democracy in Africa

As democratic institutions become more widespread, are they also becoming shallower? Many analysts of democratic transitions wonder whether the global expansion of the formal institutions of political competition, elections, and popular sovereignty is simply a veneer, or whether democratic preferences, procedures and habits are actually taking root. Preliminary results from the Afrobarometer's twelve-nation survey of public attitudes toward democracy and markets show that impressively large proportions of people in Africa's new multiparty regimes say that they support democracy.

English

WP17: Challenges to democratic consolidation of democracy in Zambia: Public attitudes to democracy and the economy

This report briefly summarizes the findings of a 1999 national opinion survey in Zambia that measured public attitudes toward democratic and economic reforms.  It finds that while Zambians are supportive of “democracy as a value,” their participation in “democracy as a system” is low.  They display very low attachment to political parties, and voter turnouts are also quite low.  Zambians are the least likely of all Southern Africans to feel that they can make things better through voting and elections.

English

WP16: Grant public opinion and the consolidation of democracy in Malawi

Just five years after Malawi’s first multiparty elections, a 1999 survey of public attitudes reveals that the legacy of the one-party dictatorship may continue to have an important effect on people’s views. Understandings of democracy still seem to be somewhat vague, and many Malawians think they are getting as much from democracy as they can expect. Although a majority prefer democratic to non-democratic forms of government, some aspects of the old regime are still applauded by many, and most would do little to defend democracy if it were under threat.

English

Pages