n Journal of African Elections - Civic participation and voting patterns in Botswana

Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-4700



Civic participation is a broad and far-reaching concept that means different things to different people and in different contexts. Botswana is highly regarded in Africa and the world as a model of democracy and good governance, a regard that is associated with the liberal democratic credentials of the country and with regular elections, which have been declared by commentators and observers to be 'free and fair'. However, despite the accolades bestowed on Botswana, civic participation in the political affairs of the country has been poor. There has been low voter turnout in most general elections since independence in 1965 and there has been a downward trend in civic engagement. This calls into question the much-celebrated democratic credentials of the country.

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