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Working paper

WP15: Public opinion and the consolidation of democracy in Namibia

Christiaan Keulder 1 Jan 2002 Namibia
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Although there are no clearly definable social groupings that can be labelled “anti-democratic”or “non-democratic,” two important factors account for much of the variation in opinions and attitudes: the urban-rural divide, and partisanship. The urban-rural divide captures many of the socio-economic inequalities present in the country and has a significant influence on almost all variables. A clear divide also emerges between supporters of the ruling party and those who back the opposition. Namibia still appears to be a country with serious political divisions. This reality, coupled with the lack of depth in the support for democracy, presents a potentially serious obstacle to democratic consolidation. But Namibia also exhibits a number of elements conducive to the consolidation of democracy, including high levels of legitimacy, high levels of trust in representatives, and a strong beief that the system is responsive to the needs of the citizenry.

Christiaan Keulder

Christiaan Keulder is the national investigator for Namibia.