Political Parties and Election Violence in Distressed Societies: A Case Study on How Campaign Strategy of Political Parties Devalued Democracy in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana

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Titel: Political Parties and Election Violence in Distressed Societies: A Case Study on How Campaign Strategy of Political Parties Devalued Democracy in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana
Autor(en): Okoro, Cyprian Friday
Erstgutachter: Prof. Dr. Roland Czada
Zweitgutachter: Prof. Dr. Ralf Kleinfeld
Zusammenfassung: The dissertation revealed that pre-colonial animosities and political divisions remained very strong in the political calculation of various ethnic groups in Nigeria and Kenya. This is proven by analyzing the ethnic mobilization campaign strategy adopted by political actors, especially in Nigeria and Kenya. However, it could be shown how debate on national policy issues directed the 2012 presidential election campaign in Ghana, while in Nigeria and Kenya ethnic identity legitimacy rights dominated public discourse and directed voter mobilization in the 2011 and 2007 presidential elections. The dissertation discovered how the collaboration between the media and the public compelled political actors in Ghana to defocus inter-ethnic grievances and concentrate on issues with national policy implications instead. It revealed that the political party alliances and interest alignments, which produced a “coalition of convenience”, were a direct product of ethnicity and religion identity legitimacy rights in two of the three case study countries; namely Nigeria and Kenya. Consequently, campaigns in the focused elections were streamlined to support the political concerns of each group under the premise of solidarity. Voters’ electoral loyalty was focused on ethnic and regional political concerns. In that sense, ethnicity identity legitimacy rights and political interest were raised above policy goals and national interests during the elections in Nigeria and Kenya. By extension, the active political participation of the people was anchored on the ethnic affiliation of the candidates. This was very evident in the observed voting pattern in Nigeria and Kenya. The use of “Ethnicity-centered Mobilization Strategy” was a disservice to democracy and the electoral processes along the 2011 and 2007 elections in both Nigeria and Kenya. The author is convinced that electoral mobilization strategies, oriented towards inter-ethnic grievances, identity legitimacy rights, regional and religious affiliation, were catalysts to the election violence experienced during these presidential elections. The dissertation argues that the desire and privilege to wield political power and authority in the case study societies contributed heavily to the violent mob action that emerged from the focused elections. It shows how campaigns, anchored on inter-ethnic grievances and the desire to exert identity legitimacy rights for political relevance, created ethnic irredentists, religious hard-liners and shaped the mobilization and voter participatory capacity in each ethnic group during the focused elections. The dissertation was able to establish how campaign strategy as used by the political actors through “material and solidarity incentives” drove the electoral processes. To that extend the use of ethnicity-centered solidarity prepared the ground for violent response in Nigeria and Kenya. Nevertheless, the use of a material incentive strategy to lure voters compromised voters’ electoral conscience and subsequently led to commercialization of the elections, especially in Nigeria. Consequently, the binary effects of the strategy are represented in the compromised status of the voters and the commercialization of the processes. The various events as orchestrated by the political actors devalued the elections and democracy itself. The spontaneous eruption of violence in Nigeria and Kenya was as result of campaign strategy as the “Ethnic Alliance” supporting each of the two opposition groups had expected their candidate to win the election in Kenya and Nigeria in 2007 and 2011 respectively. The violent outcome of the Presidential thus confirmed the negative role of “Solidarity Incentive Strategy” as a campaign method in a distressed society. Ethno-regional voter mobilization methods centered on inter-ethnic grievances, as well as religion influenced voter mobilization to achieve electoral success negatively and distorted the basis for violent-free democratic elections in the case study countries.
URL: https://repositorium.ub.uni-osnabrueck.de/handle/urn:nbn:de:gbv:700-2018022816661
Schlagworte: Election Violence; Campaign Strategy; Material Incentive; Solidarity Incentive
Erscheinungsdatum: 28-Feb-2018
Enthalten in den Sammlungen:FB01 - E-Dissertationen

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