The Democratic Qualities of Competitive Elections: Participation, Competition and Legitimacy in Africa

Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 61-105, March 2004

Posted: 18 Sep 2007

See all articles by Staffan I. Lindberg

Staffan I. Lindberg

Göteborg University - Varieties of Democracy Institute; Göteborg University - Department of Political Science

Abstract

This article analyses democratic qualities of the core institutions of representative democracy: multiparty elections. Focusing on the three basic democratic values participation, competition, and legitimacy, the empirical examination of Africa compares both over time and between founding, second, third and following elections. The results, based on 203 observations of presidential and parliamentary elections, show that there are significant improvements of democratic qualities in Africa and breakdowns typically occurs only after founding elections. The core institutions of representative democracy may have a future in Africa. Hence, there is a continuing case for demo-optimism on the continent.

Keywords: democratization, elections, Africa, aid, corruption

Suggested Citation

Lindberg, Staffan I., The Democratic Qualities of Competitive Elections: Participation, Competition and Legitimacy in Africa. Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 61-105, March 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1013646

Staffan I. Lindberg (Contact Author)

Göteborg University - Varieties of Democracy Institute ( email )

Sprängkullsgatan 19
Gothenburg, Gothenburg 405 30
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.pol.gu.se/varianter-pa-demokrati--v-dem-/

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 711
Gothenburg, S-405 30
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.pol.gu.se

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