Voting in Kenya: Putting Ethnicity in Perspective
AbstractDo Kenyans vote according to ethnic identities or policy interests? Based on results from a national probability sample survey conducted in the first week of December 2007, this article shows that, while ethnic origins drive voting patterns, elections in Kenya amount to more than a mere ethnic census. We start by reviewing how Kenyans see themselves, which is mainly in non-ethnic terms. We then report on how they see others, whom they fear will organize politically along ethnic lines. People therefore vote defensively in ethnic blocs, but not exclusively. In Decem- ber 2007, they also took particular policy issues into account, including living standards, corruption and majimbo (federalism). We demonstrate that the relative weight that individuals grant to ethnic and policy voting depends in good part on how they define their group identities, with "ethnics" engaging in identity voting and "non-ethnics" giving more weight to interests and issues.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2008-09.
Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
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Democracy; Elections; Kenya; Ethnic Divisions; Ethnic Conflict.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
- D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2008-04-04 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2008-04-04 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2008-04-04 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-DEV-2008-04-04 (Development)
- NEP-POL-2008-04-04 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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- Roxana Gutierrez-Romero, 2012. "An Inquiry into the Use of Illegal Electoral Practices and Effects of Political Violence," Economics Series Working Papers WPF/2012-16, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Samuel Brazys & Peter Heaney & Patrick Paul Walsh, 2014. "From the Great Lakes to the Great Rift Valley: Does Strategic Economic Policy Explain the 2009 Malawi Election?," Working Papers 201401, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
- Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero, 2012.
"An Inquiry into the Use of Illegal Electoral Practices and Effects of Political Violence,"
CSAE Working Paper Series
2012-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero, 2012. "An Inquiry into the Use of Illegal Electoral Practices and Effects of Political Violence," Working Papers wpdea1210, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
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