cover image: Afrobarometer Paper No. 31



Afrobarometer Paper No. 31

15 Nov 2003

For the most part, we hold that the members of the general public are good judges of qualities such as the availability of freedom, the fairness of elections, and the extent of democracy. [...] If the Eastonian framework is used, analysts need to separate measures of the “input” of support from measures of satisfaction with “output.” This item should be used as a measure of the performance of the regime rather than support for the principles of the regime (Norris, 1999). [...] We find no evidence that democracy in Africa (at least from the demand side) is hostage to the “politics of the belly.” Variables measuring satisfaction with macro-economic trends, relative deprivation, or the ability of the new regime to Copyright Afrobarometer 15 improve quality of life are simply missing from the list of substantively important factors. [...] The dramatic events of political transitions, such as the total breakdown of the institutions and value structures of the ancien regime, or the founding election of a new regime, might provide such effects, creating a common re-socialization across all people and a society-wide transfer of regime loyalties (Bermeo, 1992; Schmitt-Beck and Voltmer, 2003; Gunther, Montero and Torcal, 2003).12 As such. [...] On the other hand, cognitive awareness also taps the impact of what people know about politics and democracy: their levels of formal education, their awareness of the identity of leaders, and their ability to provide a definition of democracy.
Published in
Port Elizabeth, South Africa