Abstract

This paper offers a first comprehensive account of popular voting intentions in Africa's new electoral democracies. With reference to aggregate and survey data from 16 countries, this paper shows that competitive elections in Africa are more than mere ethnic censuses or simple economic referenda. Instead, Africans engage in both ethnic and economic voting. Not surprisingly, people who belong to the ethnic group in power intend to support the ruling party, in contrast to those who feel a sense of discrimination against their cultural group.

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