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WP159: Does clientelism help Tanzanian MPs establish long-term electoral support?

Tanzanian Members of Parliament (MPs) and political analysts describe the primary roles of MPs with a variety of phrases: benefactors, providers, executors, social workers, saviours, multi-faceted donors, even “walking ATMs". Indeed, in Tanzania, where a majority of citizens are poor and the government lacks resources and capacity to provide sufficient social services, MPs provide various kinds of financial and material assistance to their constituents to support their lives and cultivate their electoral support.

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AD43: Citizens hold mixed views on Nigeria's international relations

The international community is watching with intense interest as Nigeria’s new government settles in and begins to pursue its development priorities, which are centred on fighting corruption; creating employment, especially for young people; and improving security. How do Nigerians, in turn, perceive the international community and its role in their country’s development?

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Ugandans’ views on multipartism

Ugandans support multipartism as a viable political system of governance but many are not satisfied with the way multi-party politics work in Uganda, the latest Afrobarometer survey shows.

A significant proportion of Ugandans say that competition between political parties often leads to violent conflict, that the opposition political parties and their supporters are often silenced by Government, and many fear becoming victims of political intimidation or violence during election campaigns.

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PP24: Trust in political institutions in Senegal: Why did it drop?

The 2000 presidential elections were a turning point in the political trajectory of Senegal. After four decades of single-party and limited multi-party rule, the country’s first true political alternation handed power to Abdoulaye Wade and ushered Senegal into the ranks of stable democracies in Africa. President Wade won re-election, with a comfortable majority, in 2007.

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Which African democracies are vulnerable to political instability?

Most of us were taken by surprise when Mali – a budding democratic success story after three open elections and two peaceful transitions of power – imploded with a separatist insurgency, a military coup, and the breakdown of state control in 2012.

What did we miss? Were there signs of impending instability that political observers overlooked in the pre-crisis period? And if so, can such early-warning indicators help us predict political risks for other African governments and political regimes?

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Corruption perceptions in Ghana: Different approaches reach similar conclusions

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.

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Corruption in Ghana: Above the din of official protestation, citizens’ voices are being heard

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.

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AD40: Zimbabwe seen headed in the wrong direction, but president's leadership approval steady

Most Zimbabweans express discontent with the overall direction of their country, deteriorating economic conditions, rising corruption, and the performance of their elected leaders – except for President Robert Mugabe.

According to the latest Afrobarometer survey, popular assessments of the country’s direction and of how members of Parliament (MPs) and local government councillors are doing their jobs are considerably more negative than in 2012, but a majority of Zimbabweans continue to approve of the president’s performance.

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AD37: Is Kenya's anti-terrorist crackdown exacerbating drivers of violent extremism?

Kenya has seen a dramatic rise in violent extremism: Between 1970 and 2007, the country experienced 190 terrorist attacks, an average of five per year; since 2008, the average has escalated to 47 attacks a year. The overwhelming majority of these incidents have been attributed to Al-Shabaab. Originating in Somalia in 2005, the group has since regionalized its operations and established an active presence in Kenya, where it has successfully recruited and radicalized Kenyan nationals and carried out numerous attacks on a variety of local targets (Botha, 2014).

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WP158: Who’s asking? Interviewer coethnicity effects in African survey data

Face-to-face interviews constitute a social interaction between interviewer and respondent, yet research employing African survey data typically fails to account for the effect of shared ethnicity on survey responses. We find that respondents give systematically different answers to coethnic and non-coethnic interviewers across surveys in 14 African countries, but with significant variation in the degree of bias across question types and countries, with the largest effects for explicitly ethnic questions and in countries where ethnicity is salient.

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BP156: Au Niger, le soutien est fort mais pas unanime pour l’adoption de la sharia dans la Constitution

This publication is only available in French

Les questions religieuses connaissent un regain d’intérêt dans les espaces publics de nos pays. Au Niger, elles sont devenues préoccupantes en raison des évènements récents qui ont marqué notre sous-région (occupation du Nord Mali par de groupes djihadistes, Boko Haram). C’est pourquoi elles sont à l’agenda des gouvernements qui déploient beaucoup d’efforts pour asseoir les bases de la sécurité collective de leurs pays.

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AD33: Les Béninois évaluent les députés de l’Assemblée Nationale et leurs demandent de contrôler les actions du gouvernement

La bonne nouvelle: La majorité des Béninois sont satisfaits de la performance des députés des législatures précédentes à l’Assemblée Nationale.

La mauvaise nouvelle: En comparaison avec 2011, les évaluations des citoyens concernant la performance et la fiabilité des députes des précédentes législatures ont chutés. La confiance des Béninois à l’endroit de leurs députés a diminué, et la proportion de ceux qui trouvent que « tous » ou « la plupart » des députés sont impliqués dans les affaires de corruption a connu une hausse drastique.

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Performance et prérogatives des députés de l’Assemblée Nationale au Bénin: Les citoyens donnent de la voix

Selon la plus récente enquête d’Afrobaromètre, la majorité des Béninois apprécient la performance de leurs députés à l’Assemblée Nationale et leurs demandent de contrôler les actions du gouvernement et de décider des lois pour le pays. Une des lois qui défraye la chronique reste celle du projet de loi sur la révision de la constitution.

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Large majority of Africans support term limits; leaders’ efforts to extend their tenure run contrary to citizens’ wishes

Despite increasing attacks from African leaders seeking to extend their tenure, presidential term limits enjoy the solid backing of a large majority of African citizens, a new Afrobarometer analysis shows.

Based on survey responses of more than 51,600 citizens in 34 countries, support for limiting presidential mandates to a maximum of two is the majority view in every country but one (Algeria).

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AD30: African publics strongly support term limits, resist leaders’ efforts to extend their tenure

At the end of the 20th century, many African countries adopted presidential term limits aspart of a broader set of constitutional rules that accompanied the transition from personal and authoritarian rule to pluralistic modes of governance. While term limits were widely embraced by the larger African public, these rules have in recent years come under increasing attack from incumbent presidents seeking to extend their tenures.

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Zimbabwe is going in the wrong direction; but whilst public approval of MPs and councillors’ performance tumbles, approval of President Mugabe’s leadership remains steady

Despite most Zimbabweans expressing discontent with the overall direction of the country, in terms of its deteriorating economic performance as well as rising corruption, the majority still approve of President Robert Mugabe’s leadership performance. His approval rating has only decreased slightly since it was last measured in 2012.. This persistent positive evaluation of the president stands in stark contrast to the growing opinion that Zimbabwe, as a country, is headed in the wrong direction.

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