Safeguarding Democracy: Powersharing and Democratic Survival

52 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2014 Last revised: 7 Oct 2016

See all articles by Benjamin A. T. Graham

Benjamin A. T. Graham

University of Southern California - School of International Relations

Michael Miller

George Washington University - Department of Political Science

Kaare Strom

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Date Written: April 29, 2016

Abstract

Democracy is often fragile, especially in states that have recently experienced civil conflict. To protect emerging democracies, many scholars and practitioners recommend political powersharing institutions. Yet there is little empirical research on whether powersharing promotes democratic survival, and some concern that it can limit electoral accountability. To fill this gap, we differentiate between inclusive, dispersive, and constraining powersharing and analyze their effects on democratic survival using a new global dataset. We find sharp distinctions across types of powersharing and political context. Inclusive powersharing, such as ethnic quotas, promotes democratic survival only in post-conflict settings. In contrast, dispersive institutions such as federalism destabilize post-conflict democracies. Only constraining powersharing consistently facilitates democratic survival in societies both with and without recent conflict. Our results suggest that institution-builders and international organizations should prioritize institutions that constrain leaders, including independent judiciaries, civilian control of the armed forces, and constitutional protections of individual and group rights.

Keywords: Powersharing, Power Sharing, Democracy, Democratization, Democratic Survival, post-conflict, civil conflict, post conflict

Suggested Citation

Graham, Benjamin A. T. and Miller, Michael and Strøm, Kaare, Safeguarding Democracy: Powersharing and Democratic Survival (April 29, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2531118 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2531118

Benjamin A. T. Graham (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - School of International Relations ( email )

3518 Trousdale Parkway
VKC 330
Los Angeles, CA California 90089-0043
United States
2137420281 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://dornsife.usc.edu/profile/benjamin-a-t-graham/

Michael Miller

George Washington University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Washington, DC 20052
United States

Kaare Strøm

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
324
Abstract Views
1,926
Rank
177,530
PlumX Metrics