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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Research Paper No. 2017-23
Title Do Parties Hold Politicians Accountable (and for What)? Evidence from South African Local Government Elections
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
URL https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3037080
Abstract
In this paper, we examine the extent to which political parties in a strong-party
system hold individual politicians to account. Specifically, we consider the determinants
of incumbent renominations and promotions in the context of South African
local government elections. We find strong evidence that parties are very responsive
to the subjective views of citizens regarding the quality of services and quality of government
more generally, particularly in electorally competitive areas. By contrast,
“objective” measures of performance, including levels of basic service delivery, do not
predict renominations. We discuss how these findings raise important questions for
how we think about party responsiveness and accountability in developing country
contexts.

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