Relative Deprivation, Protests and Voting in Kenya
While protests and voting are forms of political participation, their theoretical and empirical literature has largely developed independently and remains unintegrated, despite a possible common causal mechanism. This paper explores the possibility that perceptions of relative deprivation could be a common causal mechanism. It identifies three forms of relative deprivation – intra-personal, inter-personal, and fraternalistic. Using the Afrobarometer survey data for Kenya, the paper tests the influence of each of the three forms of relative deprivation on the likelihood of voting or participating in protests. The results show that intra-personal relative deprivation influences the likelihood of protesting and voting, by raising the former while reducing the latter. However, inter-personal and fraternalistic relative deprivations are not significant predictors of the likelihood of either protesting or voting.
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