The Surprising Significance of African Elections

Issue Date January 2006
Volume 17
Issue 1
Page Numbers 139-151
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In a time when a greater part of the world hails elections as the hallmark of democracy, skepticism of their true value has severely increased in the academic community. Building on an analysis of 232 elections in Africa, this article argues that an uninterrupted series of elections tends to cause any society to become imbued with democratic qualities since the mere repetition of multiparty elections—regardless of whether they are free and fair—leads to increases in human freedom and the spread of democracy.

About the Author

Staffan I. Lindberg is professor of political science and director of the V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg.

View all work by Staffan I. Lindberg