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Citation Information

Type Working Paper - Afrobarometer Working Paper no. 110
Title Looking toward the future: Alternations in power and popular perspectives on democratic durability in Africa
Author(s)
Issue 110
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 1-18
URL http://www.afrobarometer.org/index.php?option=com_docman&Itemid=39
Abstract
Can democracy consolidate in electoral systems without power alternations? Using public attitude data collected by the Afrobarometer in 16 sub-Saharan African countries (2005-6), as well as country-level variables, this study examines how alternations in power resulting from electoral contests affect mass perceptions of the durability of democracy. Periodic alternation among power holders widens the pool of those who feel that they have a stake in the system, and reminds elected officials that they can be held accountable by voters. Multilevel analysis finds that the public perceives that a lack of alternation among power holders undermines democracy, lessening the chances that it will endure. This perception is more pronounced among those affiliated with the excluded opposition; those who prefer the ruling party are more sanguine about the prospects for a democratic future. This gap in perceptions of democratic durability narrows considerably in systems where one or more alternations have occurred.

Related studies

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Cho, Wonbin, and Carolyn Logan. "Looking toward the future: Alternations in power and popular perspectives on democratic durability in Africa." Afrobarometer Working Paper no. 110 , no. 110 (2014).
Copyright DataFirst, University of Cape Town