Vote Buying is a Good Sign: Alternate Tactics of Fraud in Africa 1986-2012

34 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2015 Last revised: 24 May 2016

See all articles by Carolien Van Ham

Carolien Van Ham

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Staffan I. Lindberg

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

Date Written: April 1, 2015

Abstract

Over 90 percent of the world’s states currently select their national leaders through multi-party elections. However, in Africa the quality of elections still varies widely, ranging from elections plagued by violence and fraud to elections that are relatively “free and fair”. The literature on election fraud and integrity has identified several factors explaining cross-national variation in overall levels of election integrity. Much less is known about trade offs between different strategies of electoral manipulation and the differences between incumbent and opposition actors’ strategies. Existing research suggest that incumbents engage more in vote buying while opposition engage more in election violence. We theorize that choices for specific types of manipulation are driven by available resources and cost considerations for both incumbents and opposition actors, and are mutually responsive. We also suggest that costs of manipulative strategies are shaped by the level of democratization. We test our hypotheses on time-series- cross-section data for 285 African elections from 1986 to 2012. We find that democratization initially leads to increases in vote buying as “cheap” forms of electoral manipulation available to incumbents such as intimidation and manipulating electoral administration become less viable.

Suggested Citation

Van Ham, Carolien and Lindberg, Staffan I., Vote Buying is a Good Sign: Alternate Tactics of Fraud in Africa 1986-2012 (April 1, 2015). V-Dem Working Paper 2015:3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2613854 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2613854

Carolien Van Ham (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Staffan I. Lindberg

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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