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The Connections of Party Brokers

Seminal models of clientelism assert that parties value brokers for their strong downward ties to voters. Despite its dominance, scholars have not empirically scrutinized key assumptions of this theory due to the challenges of measuring brokers’ …

Combining Patronage and Merit in Public Sector Recruitment

When do politicians in developing democracies prioritize meritocratic recruitment over patronage hiring for public sector jobs? I distinguish between menial and professional positions and argue that the former are valuable for sustaining party …

Unprincipled Pricipals: Co-opted Bureaucrats and Corruption in Ghana

In theory, granting politicians tools to oversee bureaucrats can reduce administrative malfeasance. In contrast, I argue that the political control of bureaucrats can increase corruption when politicians need money to fund election campaigns and face …

The Moderating Effect of Debates on Political Attitudes

In theory, candidate debates can influence voters by providing information about candidates’ quality and policy positions. However, there is limited evidence about whether and why debates influence voters in new democracies. We use a field experiment …

Electoral Fraud or Violence: The Effect of Observers on Party Manipulation Strategies

This article reports on the effects of domestic election observers on electoral fraud and violence. Using an experimental research design and polling station data on fraud and violence during Ghana’s 2012 elections, it shows that observers reduced …

The presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana, December 2012

Party unity and presidential dominance: parliamentary development in the fourth republic of Ghana

Political power in contemporary sub-Saharan Africa is often portrayed as being highly informal and heavily personalised. The assumption that personalised politics is how ‘Africa works’ has led to the neglect of the study of Africa’s formal …