Social scientists often attribute moderation of the political salience of ethnicity, in ethnically diverse societies, to the presence of cross-cutting cleavages-that is, to dimensions of identity or interest along which members of the same ethnic group may have diverse allegiances. Yet estimating the causal effects of cross-cutting cleavages is difficult.
While sub-Saharan African states are not generally considered to be true nation-states, there is still considerable variation across countries in the level of nationalism expressed by their citizens. This paper explores the relative importance of national and ethnic identities in sixteen sub-Saharan African countries, using individual-level survey data, and tries to determine how much of that variation is explained by existing theories of nationalism and ethnic politics.
In this paper we investigate voting behavior in Africa to ask what base of support presidents can count on. The most prevalent notion about electoral politics in Africa is that voters simply vote for co-ethnics. We find that assumption to be faulty. While voters tend to support a co-ethnic president, their support is not inevitable, and non co-ethnics can be swayed in a president’s favor in essentially the same fashion as co-ethnics. We show that, despite political parties lack of differentiable policy programs, party identification is what gives presidents their strongest support base.
Much of the research on ethnicity, development and conflict implicitly assumes that ethnic groups act collectively in pursuit of their interests. Collective political action is typically facilitated by political parties able to make credible commitments to pursue group interests. Other work, however, emphasizes the lack of political credibility as a source of adverse development outcomes. Evidence presented here uses partisan preferences across 16 Sub-Saharan African countries to distinguish these positions.
In Africa, it is often presumed that ethnicity shapes individuals' evaluations of politicians, and individuals would be particularly likely to rely on ethnic cues where violence or other personal experiences render ethnicity more salient. This paper examines whether individuals' ethnicity affects evaluations of politicians who use election violence or violate other democratic norms. The paper draws on data from a novel survey-embedded experiment conducted by the author in six slums in Nairobi, Kenya, in July 2009.
This paper offers a first comprehensive account of popular voting intentions in Africa’s new electoral democracies. With reference to comparative aggregate and survey data from 16 countries, we show that competitive elections in Africa are more than mere ethnic censuses or simple economic referenda. Instead, Africans engage in both ethnic and economic voting. Not surprisingly, people who belong to the ethnic group in power intend to support the ruling party, in contrast to those who feel a sense of discrimination against their cultural group.
Does living in close proximity to members of other ethnic groups make people more or less tolerant of ethnic differences? How does local electoral competition interact with ethnic demography to affect ethnic tolerance? This paper examines these questions by combining survey data with new measures of local ethnic composition and political competition in Kenya. People living in ethnically diverse areas report higher levels of interethnic trust and residentially segregated people are less trusting of members of other ethnic groups.
Scholarly literature has recently advanced our understanding of why citizens prefer or reject free trade. Empirical results based on OECD countries confirm the Heckscher-Ohlin model of trade. The paper shifts the focus towards Sub-Saharan Africa and tests the determinants of individual support toward foreign investors. It proposes a model that explains why foreign direct investment reinforces policy making along ethnic cleavages and predicts that individual trade attitudes are mainly formed by individuals’ politically relevant ethnic group identity.
This paper provides new insights into the link between the experience of violent conflict and local collective action. I use temporal and geographical information from four rounds of survey data from Nigeria to relate measures of cooperation to past and future incidences of communal conflict. I show that local collective action, measured in terms of community meeting attendance and volunteering, is highest before the outbreak of violence – higher than both post-conflict levels and the generally lower levels of cooperation in regions not affected by violence.
South Africa has seen a significant increase in the size of its black middle class in the post-apartheid period, but the attitudinal consequences of indicators of the middle class, as of 2011, are inconsistent and modest in size. While members of the middle class are no more likely to hold democratic values than other black South Africans, they are more likely to want government to secure higher-order, rather than basic, survival needs.
This paper reviews longitudinal survey data on South Africa’s political culture produced by the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (1994-1998) and Afrobarometer (2000-2011) and finds that while there are real problems with democratic citizenship in South Africa, these problems are largely not peculiar to young people. Compared to other age cohorts, the youth (aged 18-25 years) of South Africa have the same conception of the role of citizen and are no more likely to endorse political violence or to hold negative views and intentions toward immigrants.
Comment les gens se perçoivent-ils par rapport aux identités ethniques et de classe? Existe-il un sentiment commun d'identité nationale?