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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Politics & Policy
Title What affects the strength of partisan identity in sub-Saharan Africa?
Volume 34
Issue 4
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
Page numbers 748-773
A longstanding focus of political science scholarship has been on voter studies and, in particular, on the motivations for partisanship. This article examines the intensity of partisan attachments among respondents in twelve sub-Saharan African states (Botswana, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) using data from the Afrobarometer study. Employing a framework derived from both the literature in the West and from newly developing democracies, we test the various explanations put forward for the strength or intensity of partisan attachment in the African context. We find that being a rural voter and support for the governing party are the best predictors for the intensity of partisan attachment among African voters in these twelve sub-Saharan states. These results suggest the continued importance of patronage as a source for party loyalty.

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