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Working paper

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

Robert Mattes, Michael Bratton and Yul Derek Davids 1 Jan 2003 Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
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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.


Robert Mattes

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

Michael Bratton

Michael is a co-founder and board member at Afrobarometer

Yul Davids

Yul Derek Davids manages the data for the Southern Africa Democracy Barometer at Idasa.