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Working paper

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

13 Apr 2015

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.