La démocratie

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BP4: Poverty, poverty measurement, and democracy in Southern Africa

How does poverty shape the prospects for consolidating democratic government?

Political analysts have long believed that sustaining democratic government in a poor society is harder than in a relatively wealthy one.   This is a sobering thought for all those committed to democracy in Africa.  

To explore the political dynamics of poverty, we use data from seven 1999-2000 Afrobarometer surveys in Southern Africa to develop an index of poverty and then test its impact on political attitudes and behaviours critical to democracy. 

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BP9: Democracy and electoral alternation: Evolving African attitudes

Almost 15 years have passed since waves of democratization began to crash on African shores. Transitions to multiparty rule were often greeted with mass public celebration.  But how long does any such political enthusiasm last?   Are Africans’ expressed commitments to democracy  enduring or ephemeral?

This paper argues that democratic commitments are not fixed. They tend to decline with the passage of time.  But, more reassuringly, democratic commitments can be refreshed by an electoral alternation of power.

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BP7: Freedom of speech, media exposure, and the defense of a free press in Africa

Africans value freedom of speech.  In Afrobarometer surveys in a dozen African countries, people say that democracy requires that citizens are able to criticize the performance of governments.  It seems reasonable to suppose that the liberty of individuals to express themselves evolves together with the emergence of a free press.   This connection raises important questions.  Does exposure to a plural mass media – or to other, informal modes of communication – promote popular democratic values?  What happens to such values when governments control the media of mass communications?

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BP18: Sustained support for democracy in Ghana

Nearly 13 years ago, Ghana embarked on a peaceful transition to democratic governance. Popular enthusiasm and participation in highly competitive multiparty elections have since sustained that process. The third democratic elections in 2000 produced an alternation in office, with Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) capturing the presidency from the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and his party winning a parliamentary majority. The NPP electoral victory was repeated in December 2004 with the party increasing its parliamentary majority as well.

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BP25: Kenyans and democracy: Sustained support for the principle, but waning satisfaction with the practice

Three years ago, Kenya held it’s third multiparty election since 1992.  To the delight of many, it finally led to a long awaited political transition, bringing an end to the long reign of Daniel Arap Moi and the even longer rule of his KANU political party.  In a first Afrobarometer survey in Kenya, conducted in August-September 2003, just eight months after the new government of Mwai Kibaki and the NARC Rainbow Coalition took office, we found widespread euphoria and high hopes for the country’s future.

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BP27: Support for democracy and democratic institutions in Zimbabwe

Zimbabweans exhibit solid support for democracy but never seem to get enough of it. This is according to survey results from Afrobarometer Round 3.

A perennial set of questions in the Afrobarometer series relates to democracy, the demand for it, its supply, and support for democratic institutions. Round 3 of the survey repeated this set of issues and, given the existence now of three observations over time (1999, 2004 and 2005), trends and patterns are beginning to emerge. 

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AD63: Les Malgaches deviennent plus critiques vis-à-vis du fonctionnement de leur démocratie

La démocratie est fortement préférée à Madagascar, et une grande majorité des Malgaches rejettent des régimes non-démocratiques comme mode de gouvernement idéal pour le pays. Ceci, même si la plupart d’entre eux restent insatisfaits de la manière dont fonctionne cette démocratie au niveau du pays.

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AD59: Les Burkinabè soutiennent la démocratie mais demeurent insatisfaits de son fonctionnement actuel

La plupart des Burkinabè désirent la démocratie et rejettent toute forme de gouvernance non-démocratique. Toutefois, la proportion de la population satisfaite du fonctionnement de la démocratie au Burkina Faso a baissé par rapport à 2008, selon la dernière enquête d’Afrobaromètre.

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Sierra Leonean perceptions of democracy

At a glance:

Support for democracy: A majority of Sierra Leoneans prefer democracy, support multiparty elections, and reject non-democratic alternatives (one-party, one-man, and military rule).

Satisfaction with democracy: More than one-third of Sierra Leoneans say they are not satisfied with the way democracy is working in their country.

Accountability: A majority of Sierra Leoneans want their government to be accountable for its actions.

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Sierra Leoneans support democratic elections, term limits

Sierra Leoneans support democracy and multiparty competition and overwhelmingly favour presidential term limits, the latest Afrobarometer survey reveals.

But more than one-third of citizens are dissatisfied with the way democracy is working in Sierra Leone.

A little more than a decade since the country returned to democratic rule, large majorities of Sierra Leoneans reject non-democratic systems of government and prefer to choose their political leaders through open elections.

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Is equitable justice a mirage? Ugandans cite hurdles in access to justice

Most Ugandans believe that officials receive preferential treatment under the law, a recent Afrobarometer survey in Uganda reveals.

A majority of citizens say that they – and their president – must obey the law, as well as pay taxes and abide by court decisions. But they cite significant obstacles to accessing court services, including long delays, complex processes, high costs, and difficulty in obtaining legal counsel.

Most Ugandans reject legal rights for homosexuals and express intolerance toward neighbors and associates in same-sex relationships.

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Elections en Côte d’Ivoire: Méfiance de la CEI, peur de violence sont parmi les préoccupations des citoyens

A la veille des premières élections présidentielles depuis la crise de 2010-2011 en Côte d'Ivoire, de nombreux Ivoiriens se méfient de la Commission Electorale Indépendante (CEI) et sont préoccupés par l'équité et la sécurité de l'environnement électorale, d’après la dernière enquête Afrobaromètre.

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PP17: Contesting and turning over power: Implications for consolidation of democracy in Lesotho

Since its transition to electoral democracy in 1993, Lesotho has experienced a series of upheavals related to the electoral process. Election results were vehemently contested in 1998, when the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) won all but one of the country’s constituencies under a first-past-the-post electoral system, and a military intervention by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was required to restore order.

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Cape Verde summary of democracy indicators (2002-2008)

This document provides a summary of popular attitudes regarding the demand for and supply of democracy in Cape Verde as revealed over the course of three Afrobarometer surveys conducted between 2002 and 2008 (June 2002, N=1268; Mar.-April 2005, N=1256; May 2008, N=1266). Samples of this size yield a margin of error of +/- 3 percent at a confidence level of 95 percent. The charts that
follow capture perceptions of:

The meaning of democracy;

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WP158: Who’s asking? Interviewer coethnicity effects in African survey data

Face-to-face interviews constitute a social interaction between interviewer and respondent, yet research employing African survey data typically fails to account for the effect of shared ethnicity on survey responses. We find that respondents give systematically different answers to coethnic and non-coethnic interviewers across surveys in 14 African countries, but with significant variation in the degree of bias across question types and countries, with the largest effects for explicitly ethnic questions and in countries where ethnicity is salient.

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Voting and Democratic Citizenship in Africa

How do individual Africans view competitive elections? How do they behave at election time? What are the implications of new forms of popular participation for citizenship and democracy? Drawing on a decade of research from the cross-national Afrobarometer project, the authors of this seminal collection explore the emerging role of mass politics in Africa's fledgling democracies.

Purchase the book from Lynne Rienner Publishers

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Kenya summary of democracy indicators (2003-2008)

This document provides a summary of popular attitudes regarding the demand for and supply of democracy in Kenya as revealed over the course of three Afrobarometer surveys conducted between 2003 and 2008 (Aug.-Sept. 2003, N=2398; Sep. 2005, N=1278; Oct.-Nov. 2008, N=1104). Samples of this size yield a margin of error of +/- 2 to 3 percent at a confidence level of 95 percent. The charts that follow capture perceptions of:

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Popular attitudes toward democracy in South Africa: A summary of Afrobarometer indicators, 2000-2008

This document provides a summary of popular attitudes regarding the demand for and supply of democracy in South Africa as revealed over the course of five Afrobarometer surveys conducted between 2000 and 2008 (July-Aug. 2000, N=2200; Sept.-Oct. 2002, N=2400; Oct.-Nov. 2004, N=2400; Feb. 2006, N=2400; Oct.-Nov. 2008, N=2400). Samples of this size yield a margin of error of +/- 2 percent at a confidence level of 95 percent. The charts that follow capture perceptions of:

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