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EFFECT OF RELIGION ON VOTING BEHAVIOUR

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 Format: MS WORD ::   Chapters: 1-5 ::   Pages: 101 ::   Attributes: Questionnaire, Data Analysis, Abstract ::   532 people found this useful

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The need for political stability and virile democratic culture in Nigeria is a great concern to all Nigerians and the international community. Since the advent of the Fourth Republic in 1999, several elections have been conducted in the country, but the 2015 election is very significant to this study. The 2015 presidential election in Nigeria had come and gone but the indelible footprint it left in our memories will linger for some time to come. Apart from the fact that the election resulted in the defeat of the incumbent president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it also exposed the unflinching role of religion in the voting behaviour of different segments of the our society (Mudasiru, 2015). One may argue that religion have always been a factor in Nigeria’s politics; the 2015 presidential election was different in some forms. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had dominated the political scene of Nigeria since 1999 and had never lost certain states to the opposition but instead gained some. But in the 2015 presidential election, the PDP lost some of its strongholds such as Plateau, Niger, Benue, Kwara and Adamawa States to mention but a few to the main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC)

During the last few decades the focus of electoral research has changed quite significantly. In the 1960s and 70s, the traditional cleavages according to Lipset and Rokkan (1967) were in the centre of scholarly interest. At this time religion was one of the most influential factors for the voting decision. More recent studies claim that new cleavages, or rather divisions, are weakening or even replacing the former influential cleavages (e.g. Bornschier 2010; Brunner and Sciarini 2002; Inglehart 1977, 1989; Kriesi et al. 2006). As a consequence, religion is repeatedly disregarded as a prevailing factor. Broughton and ten Napel (2000: 4) state that religion is often either mentioned only for a historical overview or to highlight its declining impact.

Besides the prominent counterexample of the United States, where the religious dealignment between Catholics and Christian Democratic parties is not observable (Norris and Inglehart 2004), recently several scholars in Europe state that religion is still (or yet again) a significant factor worth to analyse.

Even though some acknowledge that the religious cleavage might be weaker compared to previous times, they argue that it is still relevant in electoral decision-making (e.g. Brooks et al. 2006; van der Brug et al. 2009; Dalton 2002; Enyedi 2008; Esmer and Pettersson 2007). Additionally, there are studies that speak of a possible religious revival in post-industrial Europe (Geser 1997; Knutsen 2004; Norris and Inglehart 2004; Wolf 1996). With respect to the religious cleavage, the Swiss case is particularly convenient as the country was built along denominational lines. Consequently, religious differences have always been one of the most important factors in defining how individuals will vote (Hug and Trechsel 2002; Lijphart 1979; Trechsel 1995). Whereas the individual influence of religious characteristics has been studied extensively, there is less known about contextual effects. Although socio-structural variables like religion are “better conceived as indicators of a collective social experience” (Huckfeldt and Sprague 1993: 293), in most studies they are only treated as individual factors. This is all the more surprising, since the socio-structural approach emphasizes the importance of the social environment (Bornschier and Helbling 2005; Carmines and Huckfeldt 1998). The authors of the Columbia School (see Lazarsfeld et al. 1944; Berelson et al. 1954) have already considered how much individual behaviour depends on the social context. However, most studies since then concentrate on the analysis of individual characteristics. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

In Nigeria there are significant differences in the religious composition of the cantons. This offers the opportunity to identify and examine contextual effects. The major issue surrounding electoral process in Nigeria is voters’ behavior. Voter behavour can be favourable or otherwise. Most of the Christian faithful sees voting as a sinful act because of the violence experienced during elections in Nigeria. The resultant effect leads to low turn during election. Lastly there have been series of studies on voting behavior but even a single study has been carried out on the effect of religion on voting behavior.

1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main aim of the research work is to determine the effect of religion on voting behavior. The objectives of the study are:

  1. to determine the relationship between religion and voting behavior in Nigeria
  2. to examine whether religion affects voters’ choice during voting exercise
  3. to determine the extent to which religion has influence voting behavior in Nigeria
  4. to investigate the factors affecting religion and voting behavior in Nigeria

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The study came up with research questions so as to ascertain the objectives of the study. The research questions for the study are:

  1. What is the relationship between religion and voting behavior in Nigeria?
  2. Does religion affects voters’ choice during voting exercise?
  3. To what extent has religion influenced voting behavior in Nigeria?
  4. What are the factors affecting religion and voting behavior in Nigeria?

1.5 STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESIS

H0: there is no significant relationship between religion and voting behavior in Nigeria

H1: there is significant relationship between religion and voting behavior in Nigeria

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study on the effect of religion on voting behavior will be of immense benefit to Nigeria as a country, the churches, the masses and religious leaders in Nigeria. The study will establish a religion and voting behavior nexus. The findings of the study will educate political office seekers on how religious factors can influence the outcome of voting exercise; hence lead them a better approach to campaign during election. The study will serve as a repository of information to other researchers that desire to carry out similar research on the above topic. Finally the study will contribute to the body of the existing literature on the effect of religion on voting behavior.

1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study will cover on the effect of religion on voting behavior with primary focus 2019 presidential election

1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work

1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS

  • Voting Behaviour: Voting behaviour is a form of political behaviour which understands voters’ behaviour can explain how and why decisions were made either by public decision-makers, which has been a central concern for political scientists, or by the electorate.
  • PoliticsPolitics refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance organized control over a human community particularly a state and a nation.
  • Political PartiesPolitical party is defined as a group of people who share a common conception of how and why state power should be organized and used.
  • Religion: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods

 


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Paper Information

Format:ms word
Chapter:1-5
Pages:101
Attribute:Questionnaire, Data Analysis, Abstract
Price:₦3,000
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