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Political Science and Political Economy Research Seminar

Democratizing the Party: The Effects of Primary Election Reforms in Ghana

Nahomi Ichino (University of Michigan), joint with Noah L. Nathan

Tuesday 21 March 2017 14:00 - 15:30

Due to the onging coronavirus outbreak, many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as online seminars. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.


About this event

Political parties in new democracies increasingly use primaries to select legislative candidates. But we know little about how internal party procedures shape the field of politicians who seek elected office in patronage-oriented political systems. We propose that democratizing candidate selection by expanding the primary electorate has two consequences: the electorate will have more diverse preferences and vote buying will become a less effective strategy. These changes, in turn, affect the types of politicians who seek and win legislative nominations. We construct an original dataset to analyze the impacts of recent reforms to primary rules by one of the major parties in Ghana. We show that expanding the primary electorate opened paths to office for politicians from groups that were previously excluded, including women, members of local non-plurality ethnic groups, and members of ethnic groups outside a party's core coalition.

The Political Science and Political Economy (PSPE) research group at the LSE brings together faculty and PhD students who do quantitative and/or formal research on political institutions, political behaviour, public policy, and political economy.

The PSPE Research Seminar provides a venue for researchers (mostly from outside of the LSE) to present their work.

These seminars are held on Tuesdays in term time at 14.00-15.30, ONLINE, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar coordinator: Dr Stephane Wolton

Contact gov.comms@lse.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list and to recieve the zoom link.