SCD projects

Competitive elections and ethnic identification in Africa

Elena Gadjanova


This project uses experimental methods to study the mechanisms behind the often observed increase in ethnic identification close to competitive elections in Sub-Saharan Africa. Drawing on research from social psychology (social identity theory in particular), the research identifies several pathways through which the polarized campaign environment could influence individual identification. These pathways are then activated using primes in survey experiments of voters in the context of presidential elections in Ghana and Kenya in order to trace their effects on individual identification, inter-ethnic trust, perceptions of linked fates and support for redistribution.