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Social Democrats or Property-Owning Democrats? Contending Political Ideologies in Ghana’s Fourth Republic


This paper analyzes the political ideology of the two main political parties in Ghana’s Fourth Republic; National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) to ascertain how their ideological leanings influence their policy positions. The paper relies on extensive review of manifestos and policy documents of these parties as well as the existing literature on political ideology and party politics. A qualitative approach to data collection was employed in soliciting the views of leading members of the NDC and NPP, academics and experts of policy think tanks using
semi-structured interviews. Overall, this paper argues that although the NDC and NPP subscribe to the main western political ideologies, these parties hardly adhere to it principles. Thus, ideology, although relevant, is insignificant in mobilizing electoral support in Ghana. In essence, support for these parties in Ghana is largely driven by popular developmental issues that resonate well with the populace rather than the ideological beliefs.