Much of the quantitative literature on civil wars and ethnic conflict ignores the role of the state or treats it as a mere arena for political competition among ethnic groups. Other studies analyze how the state grants or withholds minority rights and faces ethnic protest and rebellion accordingly, while largely overlooking the ethnic power configurations at the state's center. Drawing on a new data set on Ethnic Power Relations (EPR) that identifies all politically relevant ethnic groups and their access to central state power around the world from 1946 through 2005, the authors analyze outbreaks of armed conflict as the result of competing ethnonationalist claims to state power. The findings indicate that representatives of ethnic groups are more likely to initiate conflict with the government (1) the more excluded from state power they are, especially if they have recently lost power, (2) the higher their mobilizational capacity, and (3) the more they have experienced conflict in the past.
This article enlarges the existing literature on the varieties of capitalism by identifying a third basic variety that does not resemble the liberal market economy or coordinated market economy types. The dependent market economy (DME) type, as it is named by the authors, is characterized by the importance of foreign capital for the socioeconomic setup and is located in postsocialist Central Europe. Since the collapse of state socialism in the late 1980s, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and the Slovak Republic have introduced a rather successful model of capitalism when compared with other postsocialist states. This article identifies the key elements of the DME model and discusses their interplay. DMEs have comparative advantages in the assembly and production of relatively complex and durable consumer goods. These comparative advantages are based on institutional complementarities between skilled, but cheap, labor; the transfer of technological innovations within transnational enterprises; and the provision of capital via foreign direct investment.
The causal logic behind many arguments in historical institutionalism emphasizes the enduring impact of choices made during critical junctures in history. These choices close off alternative options and lead to the establishment of institutions that generate self-reinforcing path-dependent processes. Despite the theoretical and practical importance of critical junctures, however, analyses of path dependence often devote little attention to them. The article reconstructs the concept of critical junctures, delimits its range of application, and provides methodological guidance for its use in historical institutional analyses. Contingency is the key characteristic of critical junctures, and counterfactual reasoning and narrative methods are necessary to analyze contingent factors and their impact. Finally, the authors address specific issues relevant to both cross-sectional and longitudinal comparisons of critical junctures.
During the past two decades, neopatrimonialism has become the convenient, all purpose, and ubiquitous moniker for African governance. The school of thought behind this research program, which the author refers to as the neopatrimonialism school, has produced an impressive literature on Africa. Its analysis informs policymakers and its language permeates media reportage on African states. While neopatrimonialism has long been a focus of development studies, in recent times it has assumed politically and economically exigent status. The school identifies causal links between neopatrimonialism and economic performance, and makes predictions drawing from what is referred to as the “logic of neopatrimonialism.” Neopatrimonialism is said to account for trade policies, hyperinflation, economic stagnation, low investment in infrastructure, urban bias, and ultimately, the lack of economic development in Africa. This article examines the empirical basis of predictions and policy prescriptions. It argues that while descriptive of the social practices of the states and individuals that occupy different positions within African societies, the concept of neopatrimonialism has little analytical content and no predictive value with respect to economic policy and performance.
The importance of social trust has become widely accepted in the social sciences. A number of explanations have been put forward for the stark variation in social trust among countries. Among these, participation in voluntary associations received most attention. Yet there is scant evidence that participation can lead to trust. In this article, the authors examine a variable that has not gotten the attention it deserves in the discussion about the sources of generalized trust, namely, equality. They conceptualize equality along two dimensions: economic equality and equality of opportunity. The omission of both these dimensions of equality in the social capital literature is peculiar for several reasons. First, it is obvious that the countries that score highest on social trust also rank highest on economic equality, namely, the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, and Canada. Second, these countries have put a lot of effort in creating equality of opportunity, not least in regard to their policies for public education, health care, labor market opportunities, and (more recently) gender equality. The argument for increasing social trust by reducing inequality has largely been ignored in the policy debates about social trust. Social capital research has to a large extent been used by several governments and policy organizations to send a message to people that the bad things in their society are caused by too little volunteering. The policy implications that follow from the authors' research is that the low levels of trust and social capital that plague many countries are caused by too little government action to reduce inequality. However, many countries with low levels of social trust and social capital may be stuck in what is known as a social trap. The logic of such a situation is the following. Social trust will not increase because massive social inequality prevails, but the public policies that could remedy this situation cannot be established precisely because there is a genuine lack of trust. This lack of trust concerns both "other people" and the government institutions that are needed to implement universal policies.
Levels of subnational democracy vary significantly within countries around the world. Drawing on fiscal theories of the state, the author argues that this variance is often explained by a type of rentierism that is not geographically determined by natural resources but politically created by certain fiscal federalism arrangements. He posits that less democratic regimes are more likely in rentier provinces—those that receive disproportionately large central government transfers and practically forgo local taxation. Intergovernmental revenue-sharing rules that produce large vertical fiscal imbalances and favor the economically smaller districts provide their incumbents with generous "fiscal federalism rents" that allow them to restrict democratic contestation and weaken checks and balances. Statistical evidence from a panel data set of the Argentine provinces strongly confirms this expectation, even after controlling for standard alternative explanations such as level of development. Sensitivity analysis shows that this finding is extremely robust to alternative panel estimators. Qualitative and quantitative evidence suggests that the effect of heavy public spending on the economic autonomy of political actors is the main causal mechanism at work.
The authors explore how modern autocrats win elections by inducing employers to mobilize their employees to vote for the regime and thereby subvert the electoral process. Using two original surveys of employers and workers conducted around the 2011 parliamentary elections in Russia, they find that just under one-quarter of employers engaged in some form of political mobilization. They then develop a simple framework for identifying which firms engage in voter mobilization and which workers are targeted for mobilization. Firms that are vulnerable to state pressure—financially dependent firms and those in sectors characterized by asset immobility—are among the most common sites of workplace-based electoral subversion. The authors also find that workers who are especially dependent on their employer are more likely to be targeted for mobilization. By identifying the conditions under which workplace mobilization occurs in authoritarian regimes, the authors contribute to the long-standing debate about the economic bases of democratization. In addition, they explore an understudied means of subverting elections in contemporary autocracies: the use of economic coercion to mobilize voters. Moreover, their research finds that clientelist exchange can thrive in industrial settings and in the absence of deeply embedded political parties.
There is little doubt that China's international reemergence represents one of the most significant events in modern history. As China's political economy gains in importance, its interactions with other major political economies will shape global values, institutions, and policies, thereby restructuring the international political economy. Drawing on theories and concepts in comparative capitalism, the author envisages China's reemergence as generating Sino-capitalism—a capitalist system that is already global in reach but one that differs from Anglo-American capitalism in important respects. Sino-capitalism relies more on informal business networks than legal codes and transparent rules. It also assigns the Chinese state a leading role in fostering and guiding capitalist accumulation. Sino-capitaHsm, ultimately, espouses less trust in free markets and more trust in unitary state rule and social norms of reciprocity, stability, and hierarchy. After conceptualizing Sino-capitalism's domestic political economy, the author uses the case of China's efforts to internationalize its currency, the yuan or renminbi, to systematically illustrate the multifarious manner in which the domestic logic of Sino-capitalism is expressed at the global level. Rather than presenting a deterministic argument concerning the future international role of China, he argues that China's stance and strategy in the international political economy hew quite closely to Sino-capitalism's hybrid compensatory institutional arrangements on the domestic level: state guidance; flexible and entrepreneurial networks; and global integration. Sino-capitalism therefore represents an emerging system of global capitalism centered on China that is producing a dynamic mix of mutual dependence, symbiosis, competition, and friction with the still dominant Anglo-American model of capitalism.
Why do rulers employ ethnic exclusion at the risk of civil war? Focusing on the region of sub-Saharan Africa, the author attributes this costly strategy to the commitment problem that arises in personalist regimes between elites who hold joint control of the state's coercive apparatus. As no faction can be sure that others will not exploit their violent capabilities to usurp power, elites maneuver to protect their privileged position and safeguard against others' first-strike capabilities. Reciprocal maneuvering, however, reinforces suspicion and increases intrigue within the regime, undermining trust and often triggering a security dilemma. In the face of a rising internal threat, rulers move to eliminate their rivals to guarantee their personal and political survival. But the cost of such a strategy, especially when carried out along ethnic lines, is that it increases the risk of a future civil war. To test this argument, the author employs the Ethnic Power Relations data set combined with original data on the ethnicity of conspirators of coups and rebellions in Africa. He finds that in Africa ethnic exclusion substitutes civil war risk for coup risk. And rulers are significantly more likely to exclude their coconspirators—the very friends and allies who helped them come to power—than other included groups, but at the cost of increasing the risk of a future civil war with their former allies. In the first three years after being purged from the central government, coconspirators and their coethnics are sixteen times more likely to rebel than when they were represented at the apex of the regime.
Previous research has focused primarily on how ethnicity may trigger civil war, and its effect on conflict duration remains disputed. Rather than treating conflict as a direct consequence of ethnic cleavages, the authors argue that ethnicity per se does not affect civil war duration. Instead, its effect depends on its relationship to political institutions. They employ a dyadic approach that emphasizes the political context in which both government leaders and nonstate challengers can capitalize on the ascriptive nature of ethnicity. They show that although states can initially benefit from politicizing ethnic relations, once violent conflict breaks out, such policies may backfire on the government and make it difficult for incumbent governments to accept settlements that could terminate conflicts. Past policies of ethnic exclusion also benefit rebel organizations fighting the government, since the resulting grievances increase collective group solidarity and render individual fighters more cost tolerant. Using a new data set that codes the nexus between rebel organizations and ethnic groups, as well as information on ethnopolitical exclusion, the authors find considerable support for their propositions.
Despite allegations that foreign aid promotes corruption and patronage, little is known about how recipient governments' electoral incentives influence aid spending. This article proposes a distributional politics model of aid spending in which governments use their informational advantages over donors in order to allocate a disproportionate share of aid to electorally strategic supporters, allowing governments to translate aid into votes. To evaluate this argument, the author codes data on the spatial distribution of multilateral donor projects in Kenya from 1992 to 2010 and shows that Kenyan governments have consistently influenced the aid allocation process in favor of copartisan and coethnic voters, a bias that holds for each of Kenya's last three regimes. He confirms that aid distribution increases incumbent vote share. This evidence suggests that electoral motivations play a significant role in aid allocation and that distributional politics may help explain the gap between donor intentions and outcomes.
What explains electoral stability and change in competitive authoritarian regimes? This article addresses the question by comparing eleven elections—six of which led to continuity in authoritarian rule and five of which led to the victory of the opposition—that took place between 1998 and 2008 in competitive authoritarian regimes countries located in the postcommunist region. Using interviews conducted with participants in all of these elections and other types of data and constructing a research design that allowed the authors to match these two sets of elections on a number of important dimensions, they assess two groups of hypotheses—those that highlight institutional, structural, and historical aspects of regime and opposition strength on the eve of these elections and others that highlight characteristics of the elections themselves. The authors conclude that the key difference was whether the opposition adopted a tool kit of novel and sophisticated electoral strategies that made them more popular and effective challengers to the regime.
The wide-ranging varieties of capitalism literature rests on a particular conception of banks and banking that, the authors argue, no longer reflects the reality of modern financial systems. They take advantage of the greater information regarding bank activities revealed by the financial crisis to consider the reality, across eight of the world's largest developed economies, of the financial power of banks to act as bulwarks against market forces. This article offers a marketbased banking framework that transcends the bank-based/capital market—based dichotomy that dominates comparative political economy's consideration of financial systems and argues that future CPE research should focus on the activities of banks. By demonstrating how market-based banking increases market influences on the supply of credit, the authors highlight an underappreciated source of financial market pressure on nonfinancial companies (NFCS) that can have a potential impact across the range of issues that the varieties of capitalism (VoC) literature has seen as differentiating national systems. This approach has implications in areas such as labor, welfare, innovation, and flexibility.
The regime for international investment is extraordinary in public international law and controversial in many regions of the world. This article explores two aspects of this set of rules: its decentralization and the unusual powers it gives to private actors to invoke dispute settlement. Decentralization has contributed to a competitive environment for ratification of bilateral investment treaties (bit s) and has elevated the importance of dyadic bargaining power in the formation of the regime. Governments of developing countries are more likely to enter into bit s and tie their hands more tightly when they are in a weak bargaining position, which in turn is associated with economic downturns of the domestic economy. Once committed, investors have sued governments with surprising regularity, arguably contributing disproportionately to legal awards that favor the private corporate actors who have the power to convene the dispute settlement system. States have begun to push back, revising their obligations and attempting to annul arbitral awards. One of the conclusions is that it is important not only to consider whether bit s attract capital—which has been the focus of nearly all the empirical research on bit effects—but also to investigate the governance consequences of the international investment regime generally.
Why would a national political party that has been competitive for decades collapse overnight? In recent years, parties across Latin America went from being major contenders for executive office to electoral irrelevance over the course of a single electoral cycle. The author develops an explanation that highlights the impact of elite actions on voter behavior. During the 1980s and 1990s leaders across the region implemented policies that were inconsistent with their traditional party brand, provoked internal party conflicts, and formed strange-bedfellow alliances with traditional rivals. These actions diluted the brands of their parties, eroding voters’ partisan attachments. Without the assured support of partisans, parties become more susceptible to retrospective voting. Voters who now had no party attachments deserted incumbent parties when they performed poorly. The author tests this interactive hypothesis using matched comparisons of six party-election cases from Argentina and Venezuela.
The strong support that African presidents retain among voters of their own ethnicity, de¬spite clear evidence of shirking and corruption, has prompted numerous empirical investigations into whether an incumbent’s ethnicity or performance is more important to African voters. The model of vote choice underlying almost all of these studies is additive and implies that either coethnicity or good performance can increase a candidate’s vote share. However, there is little theoretical justification for such a model. In the dominant theory of ethnic voting in Africa, coethnicity is a signal of better outcomes, indicating that ethnicity and performance are not separate considerations. Using an experiment that is designed to determine how Ugandan voters make choices, the author shows that the effects of coethnicity and good performance interact: neither attribute increases support for a candidate in the absence of the other. Though previous analyses indicate that, all else being equal, voters always prefer coethnics, this study demon¬strates that coethnics only have an advantage when they are not shirkers. Additionally, though previous studies indicate that voters always prefer good performers, this analysis shows that vot¬ers are indifferent to the performance of non-coethnic candidates. The article provides evidence that this pattern is in fact a result of voters’ beliefs that they will only receive future goods from coethnics, making a demonstrated ability to provide such goods relevant for the electability of coethnic candidates, but not for non-coethnics. Since a large number of African voters do not share the ethnicity of their incumbent, this finding has troubling implications for accountability of African leaders.
Much of the current scholarship on wartime violence, including studies of the combatants themselves, assumes that women are victims and men are perpetrators. However, there is an increasing awareness that women in armed groups may be active fighters who function as more than just cooks, cleaners, and sexual slaves. In this article, the author focuses on the involvement of female fighters in a form of violence that is commonly thought to be perpetrated only by men: the wartime rape of noncombatants. Using original interviews with ex-combatants and newly available survey data, she finds that in the Sierra Leone civil war, female combatants were participants in the widespread conflict-related violence, including gang rape. A growing body of evidence from other conflicts suggests that Sierra Leone is not an anomaly and that women likely engage in conflict-related violence, including sexual violence, more often than is currently believed. Many standard interpretations of wartime rape are undermined by the participation of female perpetrators. To explain the involvement of women in wartime rape, the author argues that women in armed group units face similar pressure to that faced by their male counterparts to participate in gang rape. The study has broad implications for future avenues of research on wartime violence, as well as for policy.
The authors present an alternative to power resource theory as an approach to the study of distribution and redistribution. While they agree that partisanship and union power are important, they argue that both are endogenous to more fundamental differences in the organization of capitalist democracies. Specifically, center-left governments result from PR consensus political systems (as opposed to majoritarian systems), while strong unions have their origins in coordinated (as opposed to liberal) capitalism. These differences in political representation and in the organization of production developed jointly in the early twentieth century and explain the cross-national pattern of distribution and redistribution. The clusters have their origins in two distinct political economic conditions in the second half of the nineteenth century: one in which locally coordinated economies were coupled with strong guild traditions and heavy investment in cospecific assets and one in which market-based economies were coupled with liberal states and more mobile assets.