This paper suggests a new method for measuring political survival strategies employed by members of legislatures. The method builds on survey data that in principle could be collected in any new democracy. The data is used to evaluate established theories of clientelistic politics and incentives created by differing levels of competition in poor, new democracies. The analysis shows significant variation in the use of clientelism and the provision of collective goods as a main reelection strategy. This variation, within one and the same country, is a finding that runs contrary to much of the established literature on African politics. Almost half of the incumbent MPs in this study prioritize collective and club goods. The analysis also identifies a few puzzling outcomes – provision of collective goods in a highly clientelistic environment - that should preferably be analyzed in a more in-depth study.
London, UK, Africa Power and Politics Programme (APPP), 17 pp.