University of Sussex
Tambe, Elvis Bisong.pdf (2.41 MB)

Electoral participation in new democracies: applying existing models of turnout to new democracies in Africa, East Asia and Post-Communist Europe

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posted on 2023-06-09, 11:50 authored by Elvis Tambe
This dissertation explores the question of why people vote in the new democracies of sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Central and Eastern European countries. Although the focus of the study is on new democracies, I also examine Western European democracies, as they provide theoretical and empirical benchmarks against which to compare the new democracies, thus helping us to identify which of three patterns holds: (1) To see if there is something distinctive about voting at the individual level in new democracies as a whole - that is, to see if these new democracies broadly resemble each other but differ from the established democracies of Western Europe; or (2) to see if the new democracies are generally similar to Western European countries, and therefore confirm established research truths; or (3) to see if each region is unique in its own way. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses are implemented on individual- level survey data from the Afrobarometer, AsiaBarometer, Eurobarometer and Comparative Survey of Electoral Systems to investigate what affects the individual’s propensity to vote across the four regions. Having tested the various explanations of the decision to vote across the geo-political regions, the major conclusion is that while some of the models are largely applicable in these emerging democracies, others are not. The approaches that perform best are the resources, mobilisational and cultural models, the various indicators of which significantly increase the chances of an individual turning out to vote. On the other hand, our results across the four geo- political regions offer some contradictory results with regards to the impact of satisfaction with democracy, education and people’s perceptions of their individual and country’s economy outlooks on voting. Overall, however, the bigger picture in relation to voting in emerging democracies confirms that political behaviour of voters or citizens in these regions is influenced by many of the same factors that determine the electoral behaviour of citizens in established democracies


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