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
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
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