Ethnic Identity, Voter Choices and Informal Institutions in Solomon Islands
32 Pages Posted: 22 May 2014 Last revised: 28 Aug 2014
Date Written: August 1, 2014
This paper reports the findings of a mixed methods study of electoral politics in Solomon Islands. In particular, it looks at Solomon Islands voters' propensity to vote for co-ethnic candidates in national elections. The paper provides a typology of existing theories of ethnic voting before drawing on quantitative evidence to show existing theories do not fit the Solomon Islands case, despite ethnic voting being well described there. The paper then draws on qualitative evidence to create a new theory in which ethnic voting is argued to occur in Solomon Islands because informal institutions associated with ethnic groups help overcome collective action problems central to clientelist electoral politics. In the paper’s final section the theory is tested using multiple regression analysis.
Keywords: voting behavior, voter behaviour, ethnic identity, Solomon Islands
JEL Classification: D72.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation