Religious Legacies, Political Preferences and Intergroup Bargaining: The Case of Jura
40 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2014
Date Written: 2014
Among individuals with multiple social identities in multicultural societies, why are some more politically salient than others? On the basis of an empirical analysis of the 2013 referendum on the creation of an expanded canton in Swiss Jura, this paper argues that it is minority status that leads to cultural salience in multicultural societies, and that what a group emphasizes as its distinct identity can shift strategically depending on its bargaining partner. Using new micro-level quantitative data and qualitative interviews from the case of Jura, we show that religion trumps language as the key identity marker leading Jura Bernois (a French Protestant region loyal to German Protestant Berne) to vote against joining the predominantly French but Catholic canton of Jura. We also show that religious legacies operate in part through statist preferences, which shape the pro- and anti-unification vote. We then present a game-theoretic model of strategic bargaining between center(s) and peripheries in order to understand when regions are able to extract political concessions. The model suggests that concessions will be offered to peripheral regions only when the center is both dependent on the periphery and the periphery can credibly threaten to exit.
Keywords: Separatism, Multiple Identities, Political Preferences, Religious Legacies, Center-Periphery Bargaining, Alien Rule, Switzerland
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