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Are poor neighbourhoods opposed to democracy? The case of Antananarivo, Madagascar

Listed author(s):
  • François Roubaud


    (DIAL, IRD, Paris)

  • Jean-Michel Wachsberger


    (DIAL, Lasmas, Gracc)

Registered author(s):

    The citizens of Madagascar, and especially the capital Antananarivo, display marked support for democracy : adoption of its principles, rejection of authoritarian regimes, etc. The poor populations are no different from the other social groups in this respect. Nevertheless, living in a poor district induces the adoption of values and attitudes of distrust of democracy unlikely to be explained by sociological composition effects. This study is based on representative first-hand surveys at national level and in the capital. The neighbourhood effects, which form real political socialisation vehicles, are updated by an innovative use of the survey’s sampling plan. This is, to our knowledge, the first quantitative study to show such a phenomenon in Africa. We propose a certain number of interpretations of this situation, which prompt a reconsideration of the positive role that studies normally ascribe to associative participation as a factor for democratic reinforcement. These findings put forward new arguments in favour of socially balanced urban policies. _________________________________ A Madagascar, et tout particulièrement dans la capitale, Antananarivo, les citoyens font preuve d’un soutien marqué à la démocratie : adoption de ses principes, rejet des régimes autoritaires, etc. Les populations pauvres ne se distinguent en rien des autres couches sociales sur ce plan. Néanmoins, résider dans un quartier pauvre conduit à adopter des valeurs et attitudes de défiance vis-à-vis de la démocratie, qui ne sont pas susceptibles d’être expliquées par des effets de composition sociologique. Cette étude est basée sur des enquêtes représentatives de première main, tant au niveau national que de la capitale. Les effets de quartiers, qui apparaissent comme de véritables matrices de socialisation politique, sont mis à jour grâce à une exploitation originale du plan de sondage de l’enquête. Il s’agit à notre connaissance de la première étude quantitative faisant état d’un tel phénomène en Afrique. Nous proposons un certain nombre d’interprétations à cet état de fait, qui conduisent notamment à reconsidérer le rôle positif habituellement attribué dans la littérature à la participation associative comme facteur de renforcement démocratique. Ces résultats donnent de nouveaux arguments en faveur de politiques urbaines de mixité sociale.

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    File Function: First version, 2007
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    Paper provided by DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation) in its series Working Papers with number DT/2007/01.

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    Length: 21 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2007
    Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt200701
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