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

Comparative Study of Electoral Systems

Electoral studies in Mozambique have been based on aggregate (i.e. macro) data from official sources like the National Election Commission. With this kind of data it is possible to know how people from this group (constituency, province, district, ethnic group, age, etc) voted, but it is not possible to know their individual voting behaviour.

With the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) we investigate the Mozambican national elections at “micro” (i.e. individual) level systematically using representative multistratified random probability sample surveys of the adult population. But systematic analysis is also made at “macro” (i.e. system) and district levels.

The CSES is a collaborative programme of cross-national research among election studies. It is composed of three tightly linked parts:

  • A common module of public opinion survey questions is included in the country's post-election study. These "micro" level data include vote choice, candidate and party evaluations, current and retrospective economic evaluations, evaluation of the electoral system itself, in addition to standardized sociodemographic measures.
  • District level data are reported for each respondent, including electoral returns, turnout, and the number of candidates.
  • System or "macro" level data report aggregate electoral returns, electoral rules and formulas, and regime characteristics.With this design we expect to conduct cross-level analysis addressing the effects of electoral institutions on citizens' attitudes and behavior, the presence and nature of social and political cleavages, and the evaluation of democratic institutions.

One of the key theoretical questions to be addressed by the project is the contrast between the view that elections are a mechanism to hold government accountable and the view that they are a means to ensure that citizens' views and interests are properly represented in the democratic process.

It is intended to explore how far this contrast and its embodiment in institutional structures influences vote choice and satisfaction with democracy. Thus, besides academic purpose, the CSES also has relevance to inform policy intervention in the vast area of democracy, democratication and consolidation through conduction of more decent and clean elections.