The Effects of Corruption Tolerance on Support for Democracy Evidence from Africa

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Sewordor Toklo


This article contributes to the literature on democracy in Africa, using the concept of “corruption tolerance” to understand the citizenry’s support for democracy. Using data from rounds 3 and 7 of the Afrobarometer in eighteen and thirty-four African countries, respectively, the study contends that those who are used to solving problems through corruption believe they are effective within the current system and that strengthening democratic institutions can shut down the channels through which corrupt people pursue their interests. Therefore, people’s tolerance for corruption is expected to decrease their support for democracy. Empirical models consistently confirm this expectation, highlighting the role of “corruption tolerance” in explaining African citizens’ lack of support for democracy and democratization. This sheds light on the perspective of African studies.

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