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Partisan responses to democracy promotion – Estimating the causaleffect of a civic information portal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Peter John, Fredrik Sjoberg

Original languageEnglish
Article number104914
Early online date3 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

King's Authors


Citizens respond to information about democracy according to whether they are electoral winners orlosers. This difference occurs both at the national and constituency level. Democratic interventions thatseek to promote accountability and transparency might therefore impact citizens differentially depend-ing on the political party that people support. In a placebo-controlled experimental design, carried out inKenya, we find that democracy promotion boosts the external efficacy and political participation of rulingparty partisans, but leaves those from the opposition unaffected. These responses—based on nationalincumbency—are further conditioned by the partisanship of the MP of the constituency where the voterresides. These findings throw new light on the impact of civic interventions, such as Get Out the Vote(GOTV) and civic education, common in Africa as well as elsewhere, as we show their benefits accrueto the electoral winners rather than to the losers.

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