Ethnicity and voting behaviour: a case study of Ghana’s presidential and parliamentary elections 1992-2012

Agbeti, Divine (2015) Ethnicity and voting behaviour: a case study of Ghana’s presidential and parliamentary elections 1992-2012. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Six successive democratic elections in Ghana between 1992 and 2012 resulted in two peaceful power transfers between the two major political parties. While Ghana’s electoral success is described as a step forward in consolidating multiparty democracy and a model for Africa, ethnic bloc voting remains a concern, particularly in the strongholds of the NDC and the NPP. The dissertation seeks to investigate the constancy of ethnicity as a key determinant of voting behavior in Ghana’s 4th Republic. The study applies instrumentalist and symbolic politics assumptions to explain how and why political elites mobilise ethnicity, and also why electorates respond to those ethnic appeals. Narrowing the focus to analysing presidential and parliamentary elections in the Volta and Ashanti Regions, the study conducts a critical analysis of electoral data to test the extent to which ethnicity has influenced the outcome of all six elections held in Ghana between 1992 and 2012. The findings are clear: ethnicity is politically mobilised and frozen by the electoral system. Consequently, the Ewes in the Volta Region and the Ashantis in the Ashanti Region have never voted against their ethnic parties – the NDC and the NPP respectively. It demonstrates that voting along ethnic lines is a causal relationship between ethnic identity and party alignment, and thus, ethnicity is a regular key determinant of voting behavior in Ghana.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2015 15:03
    Last Modified: 05 Aug 2015 15:03
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/17974

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