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Victor Agboga


Where do your loyalties lie? Party Switching and Voters' Response in Nigeria

The impact of patronage politics on voting behaviour in Africa has pitted several academic camps against each other. While some scholars argue that patronage politics stifle voters’ agency, others maintain that rational voting and clientelism are not mutually exclusive. Against this backdrop, certain scholars speculate that if MPs switched political parties, they would tow their base along through strong clientelist ties. Conversely, proponents of rational voting in Africa speculate a more complicated outcome, casting doubts on the potency of patronage. Nonetheless, no robust study on voters’ response to party-switching has been conducted in Africa despite the prevalence of switching in the continent, and copious existing research on the subject matter in other continents. This research will be compiling and analysing an original dataset on party switching among African MPs, beginning with Nigeria, Africa’s largest democracy with over 200 cases of party defection in the last 10 years.

Supervised by Prof Gabrielle Lynch & Dr Andreas Murr

I am moving to the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) to take up a postdoctoral fellowship in September 2023.


BA Philosophy (IMSU, Nigeria)

MSc African Development (LSE, UK)

MA Development and Governance (Duisburg-Essen, Germany)

Summer School on Research Methods (University of California, Berkeley, USA)

PhD Politics and International Studies (Ongoing, University of Warwick, UK)


Victor Agboga has worked as a student missionary, an editor and a news writer in several media outlets in Lagos, Nigeria. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the Imo State University, Nigeria, an MSc in African Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and an MA in Global Governance and Development from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. His research interest revolves around African politics, African political economy, human security and international development. He is presently a PhD student at PAIS and a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the department.

Research Interests:

African Politics, International Development, Elections and Voting Behaviour


  • Fully Funded Scholarships Won:
  1. Politics and International Studies (PAIS) PhD Studentship (2020), University of Warwick
  2. Mo Ibrahim Governance for Development in Africa PhD Studentship at SOAS (2020) (yielded this award to another candidate)
  3. DAAD Helmut Schmidt Good Governance Scholarship (2018) at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  4. Standard Bank Africa Chairman Scholarship (2017) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), UK
  • Research and Travel Grants Won:
  1. Institute on Governance and Local Development (GLD), University of Gothenburg, Sweden, annual conference grant covering travel and lodging costs (2023)
  2. PAIS competitive travel grant to attend the International Studies Association (ISA) Conference at St. Louis, Missouri, USA (2022) worth £1,420 + $250 from conference organiser.
  3. Prestage-Cook Travel Award Recipient to attend the Southern Political Science Association (SPSA) conference at Pete Beach, Florida, USA, worth $300 (2022)
  4. Awardee, Routledge/Round Table Commonwealth Studentship worth £5,500 (2022)
  5. Working Group for African Political Economy (WGAPE) Research Grant worth $4,900 (2022)
  6. British Institute in East Africa (BIEA) Thematic Grant worth £1,500 (2021)

Conference Presentations

  • Institute on Governance and Local Development (GLD) conference, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, 2023. Presented paper on the problematics of police decentralisation in Nigeria.
  • Southern Political Science Association (SPSA) Conference, Tampa, Florida, 2023. Presented paper from thesis chapter on drivers of party switching.
  • International Studies Association (ISA) Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, 2022. Presented paper from thesis chapter on electoral performance of party switchers.
  • The Election, Public Opinion and Parties (EPOP) Conference, Newcastle, 2022. Presented paper on party switching and voting behaviour in Africa
  • The Working Group for African Political Economy (WGAPE) Workshop, Kigali, 2022. Paper on research method for analysing voting behaviour in Africa
  • The African Politics Conference Group (APCG) Online Colloquium, 2021. Presented "In Sickness and in Health: Presidential Illness and Intra-party Factions in Africa". Discussants: Anne Meng and Josef Woldense

Teaching Responsibilities

Senior Graduate Teaching Assistant & Seminar Leader:

  • PO107 Introduction to Politics
  • PO203 Politics of International Development


Victor Agboga, (2023). "How do Voters Respond to Party Switching in Africa?", Democratization. (open access)

Victor Agboga, (2022). "Selective Forgiveness and the Politics of Amnesties in Nigeria", The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Volume 111, Issue 5, pp 567-581. (open access) Link opens in a new window

Victor Agboga, (2021). "Beyond Decentralising the Nigeria Police: How Lagos Circumvented Debates on Police Reforms", Journal of Contemporary African Studies. opens in a new window

Victor Agboga, (2020). "From Grievance to Greed: How Political Elites Escalated the Niger Delta Crisis in Nigeria", Democracy & Development: Journal of West African Affairs. opens in a new window