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  • Author: Matthias Basedau, Michael Wahman
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Building on theoretical insights from research on the rentier state and the “resource curse,” several studies have supported the argument that oil hinders democracy. However, previous research on the rentier state has neglected the global surge of multiparty autocracies or “electoral authoritarian” regimes since the end of the Cold War. No systematic study has been carried out on the question of whether or not and how oil affects electoral contests in nondemocratic regimes. In this paper we contribute to filling this gap by combing the literature on multiparty autocracy and the political economy of the rentier state. As oil production creates substantial, nontransparent revenue streams to national and subnational governments, we hypothesize that oil production has a negative effect on electoral competitiveness, both cross‐ and subnationally, in multiparty autocracies. Consequently, the democratic “resource curse” emphasized in earlier work on the rentier state is likely to persist even after the introduction of multipartyism in cases where oil production predates democratic institutions. The paper tests the hypothesis cross‐nationally, using data on all multiparty elections held in the world in the period 1975–2010, and subnationally, using a new data set on subnational election results and oil production in Nigeria. Our results confirm that oil impedes electoral competitiveness, both cross‐ and subnationally, in multiparty autocracies.
  • Topic: Cold War, Democratization, Oil
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Marina Dodlova, Anna Giolbas
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The debate on whether democracy and inequality increase the level of redistribution in a country is still ongoing. We construct a model that predicts a higher probability of redistribution in democracies than in autocracies. Further, with higher initial inequality, there should be more redistribution in democracies but not necessarily in autocracies. We test these predictions using data on social transfers in developing countries for the period 1960–2010. We confirm that democracy increases redistribution and, to some extent, that there is more redistribution with rising inequality. Hence, on the basis of a direct measure of redistribution, we present evidence to confirm the median voter theorem.
  • Topic: Democratization, Social Stratification, Authoritarianism
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The analysis using the new Regime Legitimation Expert Survey (RLES) demonstrates that non‐democratic rulers in post‐Soviet countries use specific combinations of legitimating claims to stay in power. Most notably, rulers claim to be the guardians of citizens’ socio‐ economic well‐being. Second, despite recurrent infringements on political and civil rights, they maintain that their power is rule‐based and embodies the will of the people, as they have been given popular electoral mandates. Third, they couple these elements with input‐based legitimation strategies that focus on nationalist ideologies, the personal capabilities and charismatic aura of the rulers, and the regime’s foundational myth. Overall, the reliance on these input‐based strategies is lower in the western post‐Soviet Eurasian countries and very pronounced among the authoritarian rulers of Central Asia.
  • Topic: Democratization, Authoritarianism, Political Activism
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe
  • Author: Mariana Llanos, Alexander Stroh, Cordula Tibi Weber, Charlotte Heyl
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper assesses the extent to which elected power holders informally intervene in the judiciaries of new democracies, an acknowledged but under-researched topic in studies of judicial politics. The paper first develops an empirical strategy for the study of informal interference based on perceptions recorded in interviews, then applies the strategy to six third-wave democracies, three in Africa (Benin, Madagascar and Senegal) and three in Latin America (Argentina, Chile and Paraguay). It also examines how three conditioning factors affect the level of informal judicial interference: formal rules, previous democratic experience, and socioeconomic development. Our results show that countries with better performance in all these conditioning factors exhibit less informal interference than countries with poorer or mixed performance. The results stress the importance of systematically including informal politics in the study of judicial politics.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Power Politics, Law
  • Political Geography: Africa, Argentina, Latin America, Tamil Nadu
  • Author: Giulia Piccolino
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Drawing on the history of statebuilding in Western Europe, fiscal sociology has proposed the existence of a mutually reinforcing effect between the emergence of representative government and effective taxation. This paper looks at the case of Benin, a low-income West African country that underwent a fairly successful democratization process in the early 1990s. It finds, in contrast to previous studies that have emphasized dependency on aid rents, that Benin appears to have reinforced its extractive capacities since democratization. However, the effect of democratization has been largely indirect, while other factors, such as the influence of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and the size of the country's informal sector, have played a more direct role in encouraging or inhibiting tax extraction. Nevertheless, the hypothesis that effective taxation depends on a quasiconsensual relationship between government and taxpayers finds some confirmation in the Beninese case.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Europe, West Africa
  • Author: Sebastian Elischer
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The effects of organized labor on regime change in developing countries are not clear‐cut. Optimists argue that union agitation is conducive to both democratic transition and consolidation processes. Pessimists hold that unions will support any regime that is conducive to their demands. Accordingly, unions may support regime transitions; however, once their economic interests are under threat, they will jeopardize the subsequent consolidation process. Systematic studies on the effects of organized labor on regime change in sub‐ Saharan Africa are sparse and largely confined to the (pre)transition phase. This article examines the role of organized labor in Niger between 1990 and 2010. Given the high number of regime breakdowns during the period, a longitudinal study of Nigerien labor enables a critical examination of motives and actions of organized labor toward different regime types. In contrast to other recent findings on African unionism, the article confirms the pessimistic view.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Regime Change, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Christian von Soest, Julia Grauvogel
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: International sanctions have been one of the most commonly used tools of Western foreign policy in the post‐Cold War era to instigate democratization globally. However, despite long‐term external pressure through sanctions imposed by the European Union, the United States and/or the United Nations, nondemocratic rule in cases such as Belarus, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea and Syria has proven to be extremely persistent. In this paper, we analyze a new global dataset on sanctions from 1990 to 2011 and assess which international and domestic factors account for the persistence of nondemocratic rule in targeted regimes. The results of a fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) of 120 episodes of sanctions provide new insights for the research on both sanctions and authoritarian regimes. Most significantly, sanctions strengthen nondemocratic rule if the regime manages to incorporate their existence into its legitimation strategy. Such a “rally‐round‐the‐flag” effect occurs most often in cases where comprehensive sanctions targeting the entire population are imposed on regimes that enjoy strong claims to legitimacy and have only limited linkages to the sanction sender.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Governance, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North Korea, United Nations, Syria
  • Author: Julian Culp, Johannes Plagemann
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Rising powers are fundamentally shifting the relations of power in the global economic and political landscape. International political theory, however, has so far failed to evaluate this nascent multipolarity. This article fills this lacuna by synthesizing empirical and normative modes of inquiry. It examines the transformation of sovereignty exercised by emerging democracies and shows that – in stark contrast to emerging democracies' foreign policy rhetoric – the "softening" of sovereignty has become the norm. The present paper assesses this softening of sovereignty on the basis of a "democratic-internationalist" conception of global justice. This conception holds that global justice demands the establishment of reasonably democratic transnational relations that enable people themselves to determine what else justice requires. Because we find that the exercise of soft sovereignty by emerging democracies contributes to the realization of reasonably democratic transnational relations, we conclude that this nascent multipolarity ought to be welcomed from the democratic-internationalist view of global justice.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • Author: Almut Schilling-Vacaflor
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: With the recent expansion of extractive industries in Latin America, contestations with the affected communities have increased in number and intensity. Therein, the indigenous right to prior consultation and to free, prior and informed consent has played a crucial role. Based on the empirical study of several consultation processes in Bolivia's hydrocarbon sector since 2007 and referring to deliberative theories as well as human rights norms, this article explores the enabling and constraining factors in the democratization of resource governance through these procedures. While the specificities of consultations in plurinational Bolivia are taken into account, the study also draws general conclusions for similar processes in other resource‐reliant countries.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, Natural Resources, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Patrick Köllner
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Understanding and explaining the shape and functioning of systems of political rule requires a focus on their informal elements, which exist alongside and interact with formal elements. And indeed, political science and area studies have long been concerned with various aspects of “informal politics” and “informal institutions”. Based on a survey of relevant literature, I show that the empirically-rich work focusing on the “non-OECD world” has applied the term “informal politics” in different ways, leading to conceptual ambiguity. Moreover, the term informal politics, as used in the literature, tends to lack in terms of conceptual differentiation. In contrast, the conceptual and broader analytical foundations of the study of informal institutions have become more advanced in recent times. Here, I particularly highlight work on different “genetic” types of informal institutions – tradition- and transition-based informal institutions – and on the possible relations between informal and formal institutions. Finally, I suggest that a focus on political regimes is particularly useful for analyzing, from an institutional perspective, the shape and functioning of autocracies (and other systems of political rule). However, the very opacity of such systems of rule as well as practical research obstacles will continue to bedevil the study of informal institutions in autocracies.
  • Topic: Democratization, Political Economy, Politics, Political Theory, Governance
  • Author: Martin Beck, Simone Hüser
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article deals with the Arab Spring as a process of deep political change in the Arab world, previously the only major world area where authoritarianism persisted unchallenged for decades. While in various countries of the Arab world mass protests in 2011 forced rulers to resign, other authoritarian regimes have – despite political and economic pressure – so far been able to remain in power, or have even been only insignificantly affected. This paper applies central social science approaches in order to analyze recent developments in the region – a major task of theoretically oriented social sciences in the coming years. In addition to providing an overview of the existing literature on the Arab Spring, the article examines the empirical results of political diversification in the Arab world. A two ‐ by ‐ two matrix of political rule that differentiates according to the type of rule and the degree of stability is presented and discussed. Although the analysis draws heavily on rent theory, it also applies findings from transition theory and revolution theory to illuminate the current political dynamics in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Islam, Regime Change, Governance, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Sebastian Elischer, Gero Erdmann, Alexander Stroh
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In the early 1990s most African countries carried out extensive reforms of their electoral regimes. Adopting a historical institutionalist approach, this paper critically examines the role of institutional path dependence in accounting for the setup of six African electoral regimes. For this purpose, we distinguish between different types of path dependence. The paper further analyzes the extent to which the development of electoral institutions contributed to the regime-type outcome (democratic/hybrid/autocratic). The main emphasis herein is on so-hybrid regimes;” in other words, regimes existing in the grey zone between democracy and autocracy. The paper finds that, while institutional path dependence has a limited but important impact on the setup of the electoral regimes, it is ultimately the process of decision-making during critical junctures that accounts for the regime type outcome. Hybrid regimes lack long-term institutional ownership.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Human Rights, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Gero Erdmann
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The paper points out that there is hardly any research for the reverse transition, the transition from democracy to non-democratic regimes for more than 30 years. For heuristical purposes, it provides basic data of the decline of democracy, which refers to loss of democratic quality, changes from liberal democracy to hybrid and to authoritarian regimes, during the third wave of democratisation (1974-2008). The stocktaking shows that most of the cases of decline refer to the change in and from young democracies established during the third wave, especially after 1989. Loss of democratic quality and hybridization are the most frequent cases of decline, while the breakdown of democracy has been very rare. Young democracies and poorer countries are more prone to decline than the older and richer cases – aside from a few remarkable exceptions. Finally, the overview argues that the research on the decline of democracy can benefit from the richness of the approaches of transitology, but should also avoid its methodological traps and failures, concluding with a number of suggestions for the future research agenda.
  • Topic: Democratization, Poverty, International Affairs, Governance
  • Author: Nina Korte
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Indonesia has long been associated with neopatrimonialism, corruption, collusion, and nepotism as the main modi operandi of politics, economics and public administration. Despite various measures and initiatives to fight these practises, little evidence for a significant decline can be found over the years. Rather, longitudinal analysis points to changes in the character of neopatrimonialism. Based on more than 60 in-depth interviews, focus-group discussions, and the analysis of both primary and secondary data, the aim of this article is, first, to describe the changes that have taken place, and, second, to investigate what accounts for these changes. Political economy concepts posit the amount and development of economic rents as the explanatory factor for the persistence and change of neopatrimonialism. This study's findings, however, indicate that rents alone cannot explain what has taken place in Indonesia. Democratisation and decentralisation exert a stronger impact.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Economics, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Matthias Basedau
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The debate on institutional engineering offers options to manage ethnic and other conflicts. This contribution systematically assesses the logic of these institutional designs and the empirical evidence on their functioning. Generally, institutions can work on ethnic conflict by either accommodating (“consociationalists”) or denying (“integrationists”) ethnicity in politics. Looking at individual and combined institutions (e.g. state structure, electoral system, forms of government), the literature review finds that most designs are theoretically ambivalent and that empirical evidence on their effectiveness is mostly inconclusive. The following questions remain open: a) Is politicized ethnicity really a conflict risk? b) What impact does the whole “menu” (not just single institutions) have? and c) How are effects conditioned by the exact nature of conflict risks?
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Governance
  • Author: Anna Barrera
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Former colonial countries and ethnically and/or religiously diverse societies have long faced the challenge of accommodating distinct and largely conflictive normative orders within a single polity.1 In such contexts of legal pluralism, particular social groups have often, besides state law, followed their own law-like principles, rules, and procedures, which typically originate from distinct sources of legitimacy such as tradition or religion, cultural values and forms of organization (Griffiths 1986; Sousa Santos 1987; Merry 1988; Benda-Beckmann 2002).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Law
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Ecuador, Bolivia
  • Author: Marco Bünte
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Direct military rule has become rare in world politics. Today, most military regimes have either given way to some form of democracy or been transformed into another form of authoritarianism. This article formulates an analytical framework for the detachment of militaries from politics and identifies positive and negative factors for a withdrawal. It then applies this framework to the case of Burma/Myanmar, which is an example of deeply entrenched military rule. It is argued that the retreat from direct rule has brought with it a further institutionalization of military rule in politics, since the military was able to safeguard its interests and design the new electoral authoritarian regime according to its own purposes. The article identifies the internal dynamics within the military regime as a prime motive for a reform of the military regime. Although the external environment has completely changed over the last two decades, this had only a minor impact on military politics. The opposition could not profit from the regime's factionalization and external sanctions and pressure have been undermined by Asian engagement.
  • Topic: Democratization, Governance
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Dirk Kohnert
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Recent development cooperation with Guinea-Bissau, focusing on good governance, state-building and conflict prevention, did not contribute to democratization nor to the stabilization of volatile political, military and economic structures. The portrayal of Guinea-Bissau as a failed “narco-state”, as we ll as Western aid meant to stabilize this state, are both based on dubious concepts. Certainly, the impact of drug trafficking could endanger democratization and state-building if continued unchecked. However, the most pressing need is not state-building facilitated by external aid that is poorly rooted in the social and political fabric of the country. Rather, it is grassroots nation-building that is a pre-condition for the creation of viable state institutions.
  • Topic: Democratization, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Africa, Guinea-Bissau
  • Author: Tim Wegenast
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The literature on institutional determinants of intra-state violence commonly asserts that the presence of multiple political parties reduces the conflict potential within countries; by co-opting oppositional groups into an institutionalized political arena, dissidents would prefer parliamentarian means over violent rebellion in order to pursue their goals. The present paper shows that this proposition does not necessarily hold for fuel-abundant states. In the presence of natural resources such as oil or gas, countries exhibiting numerous non-competitive parties are actually more susceptible to internal conflict. Fortified by the establishment of legal political parties, regime opponents succumb more easily to the prospects of securing resource revenues, adopting rapacious behaviour. Fuel-related internal grievances as well as the opposition's disaffection over the lack of effective political leverage and government use of political violence provide a seemingly legitimate motive for armed rebellion. Moreover, financial means for insurgency are raised by extortion or the possibility of selling future exploitation rights to natural resources. Logit models using different estimation techniques and alternative operationalizations corroborate the proposed claim. The argumentation is further illustrated by a depiction of the Colombian case.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Democratization, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Anika Moroff
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Since 1990 the banning of ethnic and other identity-based parties has become the norm in sub-Saharan Africa. This article focuses on Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda as three East African countries that have opted for different ways of dealing with such parties. Using case studies, it traces the origins of the party bans in Tanzania and Uganda and explores the reasons for the absence of a ban in Kenya. The analysis shows that the laws on particularistic parties have actually been implemented by the appropriate institutions. However, these laws have only marginally influenced the character of the political parties in the three countries: A comparison of regional voting patterns suggests that bans on particularistic parties have not ensured the emergence of aggregative parties with a national following in Tanzania and Uganda. In Kenya on the other hand, where such a ban was nonexistent until 2008, parties have not proven to be more regional.
  • Topic: Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Africa, Tanzania