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
Date Written: January 1, 2014
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: Suggested Citation