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Public Opinion, Democracy, and Market Reform in Africa

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Based on the Afrobarometer, a survey research project, this examination of public opinion in sub-Saharan Africa reveals what ordinary Africans think about democracy and market reforms, subjects on which almost nothing is otherwise known. The authors reveal that widespread support for democracy in Africa is shallow and that Africans consequently feel trapped between state and market. Although they are learning about reform through knowledge and experience, it is assumed that few countries are likely to attain full-fledged democratic market status anytime soon.

  • Only survey of public opinion about democracy and market reform in more than a dozen countries in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Shows that African societies and cultures do not pose insuperable obstacles to political and economic reform
  • This public opinion research helps people to judge the prospects for the consolidation of new political regimes.


E. Gyimah-Boadi

Gyimah is the chairman of the board of directors at Afrobarometer

Michael Bratton

Michael is a co-founder and board member at Afrobarometer

Robert Mattes

Robert Mattes is a professor of government and public policy at the University of Strathclyde and a co-founder of Afrobarometer.