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Understanding Education's Influence on Support for Democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa


  • Geoffrey Evans
  • Pauline Rose


Is education consequential for popular endorsement of democracy in developing societies and, if so, what are the mechanisms that account for this influence? We investigate the micro-foundations of the education--democracy nexus using a survey of 18 sub-Saharan African countries. We demonstrate that educational level is the strongest influence on support for democracy and rejection of non-democratic alternatives via its impact on comprehension of, and attention to, politics. This is consistent with a cognitive interpretation of the effects of education on democratic values rather than one which treats education as a marker of economic resource inequalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Geoffrey Evans & Pauline Rose, 2012. "Understanding Education's Influence on Support for Democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(4), pages 498-515, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:48:y:2012:i:4:p:498-515
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2011.598508

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. World Bank, 2001. "A Chance to Learn : Knowledge and Finance for Education in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13855.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Le défi de l’accès et de la qualité de l’éducation dans les pays en développement
      by (Marine de Talance) in BS Initiative on 2015-02-05 15:54:26


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    Cited by:

    1. Bakker Femke E. & Rotondi Valentina, 2016. "Vote for Your Family! Particularism, Support for Democracy and Support for Shari’a in the Arab World," Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 115-137, August.

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