Early Statehood and Support for Autocratic Rule in Africa

Comparative Political Studies Vol/Iss. 0(0) SAGE California Published In Pages: 1-37
By Chlouba, Vladimir, Smith, Daniel S., Wagner, Seamus


The authors of this article evaluate how the legacies of early statehood (i.e., precolonial centralized ethnic groups) in Africa continue to impact democratic governance. They find a positive relationship between early states and support for autocratic rule, especially in former British colonies that were highly centralized prior to colonization. They suggest that the transmission of political and cultural norms play an important role in the support for autocracies.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
Ethnographic Atlas (EA)Others800 ethnic homelands in Africa
Ethnologue: Languages of the WorldOthersLinking EA and Afrobarometer Survey data
Afrobarometer SurveyOthersSupport for autocracy
Ethnic Power Relations datasetOthersControl for ethnic exclusion
TseTse Suitability IndexOthersPopulation of TseTse fly

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