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Democracy and Elections in Africa

ISBN-10: 0801883334
ISBN-13: 9780801883330
Edition: 2006
List price: $29.95
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Description: This volume studies elections as a core institution of liberal democracy in the context of newly democratizing countries. Political scientist Staffan I. Lindberg gathers data from every nationally contested election in Africa from 1989 to 2003,  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 8/16/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 248
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

This volume studies elections as a core institution of liberal democracy in the context of newly democratizing countries. Political scientist Staffan I. Lindberg gathers data from every nationally contested election in Africa from 1989 to 2003, covering 232 elections in 44 countries, argues that democratizing nations learn to become democratic through repeated democratic behavior, even if their elections are often flawed. Refuting a number of established hypotheses, Lindberg finds no general negative trend in either the frequency or the quality of African elections. Rather, elections in Africa, based on his findings, are more than just the goal of a transition towards democracy or merely a formal procedure. The inception of multiparty elections usually initiates liberalization and repeated electoral activities create incentives for political actors, fostering the expansion and deepening of democratic values. In addition to improving the democratic qualities of political regimes, a sequence of elections tends to expand and solidify de facto civil liberties in society. Drawing on a wealth of data, Lindberg makes the case that repetitive elections are an important causal factor in the development of democracy. He thus extends Rustow's (1970) theory that democratic behavior produces democratic values.

List of Tables and Figures
Preface
Introduction
The Role of Elections
Why Africa?
On Regimes
On Elections and Democracy
Preindependence and Postindependence Elections in African Nations
Contemporary Africa's Track Record
Outline of the Book
On Democracy and Elections
Making a Conceptual Choice
Defining Democracy
Operationalizing Democratic Qualities of Elections
Data Collection and Processing
Elections in Africa Over Time
Frequency and Number of Elections
The Democratic Qualities, on Average
Democratic Qualities of Elections over Time
Conclusions
The Self-Reinforcing Power of Elections
Going from Bad to Worse
First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Later Elections
A Panel-Group Comparison
Conclusions
The Causal Effects of Elections
Democratic Qualities in Society
A Missing Factor of Democratization
Hypotheses and Causal Links
Democratization by Elections?
Elections Are Associated with Civil Liberties
Analyzing by Countries
Conclusions
Comparative Perspectives and Reflections
The Transition Paradigm
Corruption and Democratization
Stateness and Social Citizenship
Lessons on Consolidation
Policy Implications
The Power of Elections in Unfavorable Conditions
Overview of Elections in Africa, by Year
Changes in Civil Liberties Rankings
About the Freedom House Civil Liberties Index
A Data Set on Elections in Africa
Notes
References
Index

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