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Dispersing Authority or Deepening Divisions? Decentralization and Ethnoregional Party Success
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 74, No. 4 (Oct., 2012), pp. 1079-1093
Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Southern Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1017/s0022381612000667
Page Count: 15
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Political parties, Countries, Voting, Ethnic parties, State elections, Local government, Political power, Statistical models, Territories, Time series models
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Political scientists have fiercely debated the impact of decentralization on ethnic conflict; some see it as a panacea, while others contend that it sows the seeds of its own failure by stimulating ethnic divisions via ethnoregional parties. Using multiple methods—historical analysis, quantitative case studies, and multivariate models of the share of votes won by ethnoregional parties in 71 democracies—this article demonstrates that ethnoregional parties derive no benefit from decentralization in nonethnically decentralized countries. Even in ethnically decentralized countries, much ethnoregional party success is explained by the continuation of parties that originally pressed for decentralization. Any impact of decentralization on ethnoregional parties can be minimized through the careful construction of institutions to enhance regional autonomy but not statewide influence. Consequently, institutional designers should retain decentralization as an option when crafting political institutions even in countries with ethnic divisions.
Copyright © Southern Political Science Association 2012