The Electoral System and Political Culture - A Comparative Inquiry in an African Context

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: This thesis aims to examine how the electoral system affects the behaviour of the political elites in an African context. My hypothesis is that different electoral system presents different incentives to political elites and that these incentives affect their behaviour, contributing to the formation of a specific political culture, more or less beneficial for the consolidation of democracy. The study compares two matching cases; first out is Tanzania and Mozambique, followed by Mali and Benin. The essay aspires to analyse the electoral system effects on the political culture of respective country. In order to achieve this, a three front attack on the concept is applied, firstly a qualitative investigation of the political party's behaviour, secondly mass-surveys of the citizen's perception of democracy and political actors will be analysed, and finally, this thesis will take into account economical and welfare statistics. The result of this inquiry indicates that its primary the context that provides with incentives towards cooperation among the political elites in African countries, not the electoral system.

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