Centro de Pesquisas sobre Governação e Desenvolvimento | Centre for Research on Governance and Development

Comparative National Election Project

Although electoral studies in Mozambique have been based mainly on aggregate level data rather than individual data, individual level analysis of electoral studies have also to consider that where individuals obtain information about politics, candidates, parties and policies during the course of an election campaign is the primary means for them to evaluate the performance and attributes of individual candidates and parties.

The Comparative National Election Project (CNEP) investigates the Mozambican national elections at individual level focusing on intermediaries of information. We do that by looking at three major CNEP areas.

First, by focusing on the processes of intermediation through which citizens receive information about policies, parties, candidates, and politics in general during the course of election campaigns thus reviving the long neglected research perspective of the “Columbia School” established by Paul Lazarsfeld and his colleagues in the 1940s and 1950s. The survey includes a set of questions dealing with the flow of information through primary social networks (among family members, friends, neighbours, and co-workers), and secondary associations (especially trade unions, religious organizations, and political parties), as well as information from the communications media.

Second, by measuring the mass-level attitudes underpinning regime consolidation and the nature and quality of democratic participation, as well as the structure of basic values (concerning traditional religious beliefs, individual political and civil liberties, and preferences regarding the nature of the economy and public policies) that have often given rise to partisan political conflict.

Third, the project assesses the integrity of electoral administration and the quality of democracy in Mozambique.

Thus among its topics are:

  • The role of the mass media, discussion networks, secondary associations, and political parties as the four principal channels of political communications in democracies.
  • The impact of sociopolitical values on electoral behavior.
  • Voting determinants, including long-term factors such as social cleavages, value conflicts and partisanship, and short-term factors such as state of the economy and candidate attributes.
  • Determinants of voting turnout, including the impacts of individual characteristics, country electoral laws, and political communications.The CNEP employs a nationally representative, random, stratified probability sample survey through face-to-face interviews.

The relevance of the CNEP data in Mozambique is two fold:

  • To test theories on voting behaviour overtime; and
  • To inform Mozambican policy makers -- including government, donors and civil society supporting democracy and governance programmes -- how the quality of democracy may be improved through elections.

So far, the CNEP have conducted one survey in Mozambique: the CNEP Post-Electoral Survey of 2004 Election. The next CNEP post electoral survey will be conducted after the 2019 election.