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Contesting and Turning Over Power: Implications for Consolidation of Democracy in Lesotho

Since its transition to electoral democracy in 1993, Lesotho has experienced a series of upheavals related to the electoral process. Election results were vehemently contested in 1998, when the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) won all but…

South Africa's Opposition Narrows Trust Gap but Still Faces Mixed Perceptions of Vision and Role

"The African National Congress (ANC) has dominated post-apartheid South Africa’s political landscape. Following the 2014 national and provincial elections, the party holds 62% of National Assembly seats and governs eight of the country’s nine provin…

In South Africa, Citizen's Trust in President, Political Institutions Drops Sharply

"In assessing the health of democracies, it is impossible to ignore the concept of citizen trust in public institutions. Trust is a cornerstone of democratic legitimacy, triggering citizens’ willingness to contribute to a strong and robust democracy…

Do Trustworthy Institutions Matter for Development? Corruption, Trust and Government Performance in Africa

"This Afrobarometer dispatch explores whether African citizens think that political institutions – ranging from the state presidency to local government councils – are worthy of their trust and whether public trust matters for development outcomes.…

Declining Trust: Basotho Perceptions of Government Corruption and Performance Drive Drop in Popular Trust

In a democracy, citizens delegate powers to individuals and political parties charged with building and maintaining institutions that will ensure the people’s well-being. In this arrangement, trust is one of the most important ingredients in the leg…

In Angola's COVID 19 Fight, Trusted Religious and Traditional Leaders, Military can be Allies

As Angola continues under a “situation of public calamity” to limit the spread of the coronavirus, reliable information remains an essential tool in the fight to protect the country. Despite early lockdowns, the number of confirmed infections in the…

Citizens' Negative Perceptions of Police extend well beyond Nigeria's #EndSARS

With echoes of the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States, massive demonstrations against police brutality have recently rocked Nigeria. Protests that initially focused on the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) have broadened to d…

A Test of Trust: Insights on South Africans' Views of the COVID-19 Vaccine from Public Opinion Data

South Africa has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 1 million cases have been recorded, millions more have lost their livelihoods, and tens of thousands of people have succumbed to the disease. Scientific consensus suggests that vaccinat…

Public Trust in Elections: The Role of Media Freedom and election Management Autonomy

"As multiparty elections have become a global norm, scholars and policy experts regard public trust in elections as vital for regime legitimacy. However, very few cross-national studies have examined the consequences of electoral manipulation, inclu…

Crime and Insecurity Remain Near the Top of South Africans' Agenda

South Africa is still grappling with serious problems of crime and violence. Both Statistics South Africa and the government’s 20-year review reveal significant progress, but both also confirm continued disturbingly high levels of violence. Ordinary…

Popular Trust in National Electoral Commission a Question Mark as Zimbabwe Enters a New Era

As Zimbabwe moves into a new era following its dramatic change in leadership, all eyes will be on the 2018 elections as a referendum on the people’s will and a test of progress toward freedom and fairness in its democratic practices. A central pla…

The Autocratic Trust Bias: Politically Sensitive Survey Items and Self-censorhip

Because of a perceived risk of repressive action, some survey questions are likely sensitive in more autocratic countries while less so in more democratic countries. Yet survey data on potentially sensitive topics are frequently used in comparativ…

Zimbabwe's MPs, Local Councillors Get Poor Ratings on Responsiveness and Performance

In a democracy, elected local and parliamentary representatives are critical channels through which citizens’ views and preferences can impact local and national policies. They are also important conduits for disseminating information about governme…

Trust in Institutions, Evaluations of Government Performance decline in Cabo Verde / Confiança nas instituições, avaliações do declínio do desempenho do governo em Cabo Verde

For 15 years after independence, Cabo Verde’s one-party regime did not allow for the evaluation of politicians by citizens. The establishment of a democratic regime from 1991 onwards birthed a new form of relationship between elected leaders and v…

Heal the Beloved Country: Zimbabwe's Polarized Electorate

For a moment, Zimbabwe’s July 30, 2018, elections seemed to promise relief from a traumatic political past. An aging autocrat had been deposed and his successor intoned pledges of “a new dispensation.” A dormant opposition movement began to reawaken…

Most Togolese Mistrust Electoral Commission, would prefer Non-partisan, Technical Alternative

Since August 2017, Togo has been shaken by waves of protests by a coalition of opposition parties known as C14 demanding constitutional, institutional, and electoral reforms resulting in parliamentary and local elections as well as a constitutiona…

Bounded Autonomy: What Limits Zimbabweans' Trust in their Courts and Electoral Commission?

This policy paper analyzes public trust in the country's courts and electoral commission. Though intended to act as independent custodians of the Constitution and the electoral process, both the judiciary and the electoral commission are frequently …

Job Performance of MPs, Local Councillors: Are Representatives Serving Voters or Themselves?

"Members of Parliament (MPs) and local government councillors are elected to represent their constituents. In a functioning democracy, these office-holders are expected to represent the public interest and to be accountable to those who elected them…

Election Quality, Public Trust are Central Issues for Africa's Upcoming Contests

"With at least 25 African countries conducting national elections in 2016-2017, great attention is focused on electoral management bodies – typically national electoral commissions – as crucial players in electoral processes and in shaping public pe…

Corruption Crossroads? Rising Perceptions of Graft Weaken Citizen Trust, Threatens Botswana's Democratic Standing

Corruption is widely considered one of the greatest impediments to sustainable development in African countries. Corruption hinders macro-economic growth by weakening governance structures and diluting the positive effects of investments. At the mic…

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