An Institutional Remedy for Ethnic Patronage Politics

Durant, T. Clark and Michael Weintraub. 2014. "An Institutional Remedy for Ethnic Patronage Politics." Journal of Theoretical Politics 26(1): 59–78.

20 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2011 Last revised: 7 Mar 2015

See all articles by Thomas Clark Durant

Thomas Clark Durant

Warrington College of Business, UF

Michael Weintraub

Department of Political Science - Binghamton University (SUNY)

Date Written: January 1, 2014

Abstract

When the difference between winning and losing elections is large, elites have incentives to use ethnicity to control access to spoils, mobilizing some citizens and excluding others. This paper presents a new electoral mechanism, the turn-taking institution, that could move states away from ethnically-mediated patron-client politics. With this mechanism, the whole executive term goes to a sufficiently inclusive super-majority coalition; if no coalition qualifies, major coalitions take short, alternating turns several times before the next election. A decision-theoretic model shows how the turn-taking institution would make it easier for mass-level actors to coordinate on socially productive policy and policy-making processes. We argue this institution would raise the price elites would pay to deploy and enforce exclusive ethnic markers.

Keywords: mobilization, coordination, institutional design, divided societies, ethnicity, turn-taking

JEL Classification: D72, D74, D78

Suggested Citation

Durant, Thomas Clark and Weintraub, Michael, An Institutional Remedy for Ethnic Patronage Politics (January 1, 2014). Durant, T. Clark and Michael Weintraub. 2014. "An Institutional Remedy for Ethnic Patronage Politics." Journal of Theoretical Politics 26(1): 59–78.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1825444 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1825444

Thomas Clark Durant

Warrington College of Business, UF ( email )

PO Box 117165, 201 Stuzin Hall
Gainesville, FL 32610-0496
United States
2027256963 (Phone)

Michael Weintraub (Contact Author)

Department of Political Science - Binghamton University (SUNY) ( email )

Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
United States

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