On Wednesday, April 27th, at 2.30pm, the NOVAFRICA Center welcomes Nahomi Ichino, from the University of Michigan to present her work on ethnic composition and spatial segregation, and the entry of candidates during elections.
The quality of governance in new democracies – where institutional constraints on the use of power are often weak – depends greatly on the interests, obligations, and motivations of the people who seek elected office. We examine intra-party competition over party nominations for parliamentary elections in Ghana, a new democracy where access to the ballot is determined through primary elections. Unlike advanced democracies, nomination contests in Ghana are characterized by widespread vote-buying rather than ideological competition, and once in office, MPs primarily have influence over the allocation of patronage, not policy outcomes. This has implications for what types of candidates will seek nominations and what types of constituencies will have competitive nomination contests. We combine evidence from a survey of primary election contestants with fine-grained geo-coded census data. We examine how the ethnic composition and spatial segregation of local parliamentary constituencies affect the entry of parliamentary candidates for each major party and also explore why incumbency does not provide significant advantages for Ghanaian politicians seeking parliamentary nominations.
Please find further information about this seminar here.