Civic Associationalism and Voter Turnout in Transitional Democracies
27 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 14 Aug 2010
Date Written: 2010
This paper analyzes voter turnout in the context of the more recent elections in sub-Saharan Africa. The paper examines the following question: What are the effects of pre-transition civil society strength and post-transition NGO density on voter turnout in the several waves of Africa’s democratizing elections? Using data from several sources, I conduct empirical analyses and ﬁnd that pre-democratic transition civil society strength exhibits a slight negative effect on post-democratic transition voter turnout. This is contrary with much of the literature that suggests that civil society fosters increased political participation. I also ﬁnd that several institutional variables are still relevant when controlling for civil society and ethnic fraction-alization. Last, I determine that NGO density is not a good predictor of voter turnout at the macro level in the recent waves of African elections.
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