South Africa has a ruling dominant party, the African National Congress (ANC), which has been in power since apartheid ended in 1994. In national elections, the ANC has consistently received an overwhelming majority of the vote, even though the majority of South Africa's citizens have benefitted little from the ANC's policies. This dissertation investigates why so many South African voters continue to vote for the ANC despite little, if any, measurable improvement in their quality of life since the ANC came to power. In so doing, it examines the literature on dominant parties, voter behavior and what motivates it, the incentives created by various electoral systems, and ethnic patronage politics. It also draws on empirical research into these phenomena in both South Africa and an illustrative comparative case study, Malaysia. Ultimately, I argue that both the theoretical framework and the empirical evidence point toward ethnic patronage as the driving explanation of electoral outcomes in South Africa; they also suggest there is little prospect for significant change in the foreseeable future.
|School Location:||United States -- Connecticut|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African Studies, Political science|
|Keywords:||Electoral, Ethnic, Inequality, Party, Patronage, South Africa|
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