Ballots and Bills: Electoral Competition in Political Marketplaces

Author: Jared Miller (World Peace Foundation, Tufts University)

Elections are one of the most competitive time periods within political marketplace countries. They offer opportunities for democratic gains and to challenge those in power, but they also epitomize the range of strategies that are employed to manipulate the results. This paper examines the reality of electoral competition and how it intersects with political marketplace dynamics using the 2023 elections in Nigeria as a case study. This paper argues that elections can embody some of the most destructive behaviours within the political marketplace, but they also create opportunities to shift political behaviour. The paper discusses these dynamics and their implications for strengthening democratic gains within political marketplace countries.