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  • Author: Ana Arjona
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: War zones are usually portrayed as chaotic and anarchic. In irregular civil wars, however, they are often ordered. Furthermore, different forms of order often coexist in areas controlled by the same non-state armed group, where the behavior of both civilians and combatants vary substantially. What explains this variation? In this paper I present a theory of the creation of order in war zones that analyzes the behavior of non-state armed groups, the responses of local populations, and the effect of their interaction on wartime institutions. My central argument is that disorder emerges when armed groups have short time horizons, which usually happens when they fight for control with other warring sides or are undisciplined; under these conditions, they are unlikely to establish a social contract with the local population. When armed groups have a long time horizon, a social contract is established, giving place to a new order. In this new order, armed groups may intervene minimally or broadly in civilian affairs; their choice, I argue, depends on the likelihood of organized civilian resistance, which is, in turn, a function of the quality of pre-existing local institutions, especially those dealing with adjudication of disputes. I also present extensions of the theory that account for variation in the strategic value of territory, variation in local capacity for collective action, and armed groups’ information about local institutions.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Isabel de Assis Ribeiro de Oliveira
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Iberian legacy in political thought has been mischaracterized as a source of authoritarianism, with scant attention to the theme of legitimacy. For Golden Age writers, however, care for the common good constitutes the main reference for distinguishing legitimate from tyrannical rule, although nowhere in their writings can we find a coherent and sustained discussion of this central political concept. Its description constitutes the object of this paper. The common good takes into consideration both natural sociability and freedom as its major assumptions, finding its due place in a representation of society as a hierarchical association of equally free and unique persons who cannot live well without each other, since no one has all the abilities required to preserve his life and fulfill his own nature. What is at stake, thus, is not an authoritarian legacy but a tradition that—acknowledging asymmetries, differences, and inequalities among men and a beautiful order in the universe—tries to deduce from the latter a logic for preserving human society.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Political Theory, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Cecilia Martinez-Gallardo
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper proposes and tests a theory about the strategic use of cabinet appointments by executives in presidential systems. The theory argues that cabinet turnover plays a crucial role in bargaining between the legislature and the executive over policy. In the context of fixed terms, the power to change the cabinet allows presidents to face unexpected shocks and use cabinet rotation to adjust their governments to new political and policy environments. This resource is even more important when presidents' formal authority is weaker and when their political support and popularity decrease. I use data on cabinet changes in twelve Latin American countries between 1982 and 2003 to test the main arguments of the theory.
  • Topic: Democratization, Political Theory, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Joseph Wright
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Does economic crisis lead to authoritarian regime breakdown and democratization? In this paper, I argue that the availability of exit options for citizens conditions the relationship between economic crisis and democratization. Where citizens have more viable exit alternatives, economic crisis causes citizens to exit rather than protest, making democratization less likely. I measure exit options in three ways: a geographic instrument for bilateral trade; neighboring country GDP per capita; and past net migration. I use time series, cross - section data on up to 122 authoritarian regimes in 114 countries from 1946 – 2002 to test this argument and find evidence consistent with the hypothesis that more attractive exit options insulate dictators from the liberalizing effects of economic crisis.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Government, Political Theory, Financial Crisis, Authoritarianism
  • Author: Rachel Beatty Riedl
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper asks (a) how to understand the development of new institutions in nascent democracies, and (b) what explains the persistence of institutional forms that do not conform to rationalist expectations of competitive efficiency. Much scholarship focuses on the power of strategic coordination under formal rules to shape democratic institutions, such as the form of the party system. This article contends that strict rationalist explanations of party systems leave unexplored the ways in which individual politician's and voter's strategic calculations are bounded by the organizational imperatives of systemic competition. Sociological theories of institutional development better explain the organizational logic driving party system origin and endurance in new democracies. The article uses original interview data from three contrasting cases of party system development in Africa to highlight the empirical puzzle that drives this conclusion: despite seemingly analogous democratic origins, largely similar conditions of low economic development, high ethnic heterogeneity, and weak state capacity, as well as comparable formal electoral rules in pairwise combinations, the party systems across Africa demonstrate incredible cross-national variation in the ways in which political parties organize and compete for power. Additionally, party systems maintain these varied forms over time rather than converging on a “most efficient” model. A focus on the particular mechanisms of reproduction through institutional isomorphism contributes to the research agenda of explaining institutional development, change, and stability.
  • Topic: Democratization, Political Theory, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Juliet Hooker
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes autonomy regimes in Latin America, or rather the lack thereof. Autonomy is primarily conceived as a means of enabling minority groups that are spatially concentrated to gain control over their local affairs. Autonomy has been relative absent from the models of multiculturalism adopted in Latin America at the end of the twentieth century. Nicaragua is one of the few countries in the region (as well as one of the first) where territorial political autonomy for regions inhabited by Afro-descendant and indigenous groups were adopted by the national state and enshrined at the level of constitutional law. One of the most distinctive (and contested) elements of the model of regional autonomy adopted in Nicaragua is its multiethnic character. This paper explores the future of autonomy in Nicaragua, mainly in terms of the question of whether multiethnic regional models of autonomy can best accomplish the goals of promoting solidarity between groups, enabling the preservation of minority cultures, and making possible meaningful political self-government when multiple subordinated groups are present in the same geographic space. Alternatively, are these aims better achieved through the creation of separate national homelands for each ethnic/racial group? Is a model of overlapping, multiple autonomies a better option? These are key questions regarding the future of autonomy that indigenous and Afro-descendant groups are currently confronting in Nicaragua. The central focus of the paper is thus to consider how Nicaragua's experiences with autonomy complicate the assumptions and prescriptions about the institutional design of autonomy for minority cultural groups in theories of multiculturalism.
  • Topic: Political Theory, Governance, Political Power Sharing
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Nicaragua
  • Author: Pierre Ostiguy
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper introduces an indispensable dimension for the spatial and comparative analysis of party systems, cleavages, and the conduct of political campaigns. It presents the concepts of “high” and “low” in politics and the high-low dimension, which concerns ways of appealing (and thus relating) to people in sociologically differentiated ways. Politicians on the high are “well behaved,” more restrained, and proper, both in manners and institutional procedures. Politicians on the low sublimate less and are more down-to-earth, coarser, earthier, and personalistic, both in manners and institutionally. The high-low dimension is fully neutral, or orthogonal, with regard to the left-right axis, in contrast to Kitschelt's authoritarian/libertarian divide or Inglehart's materialist/post-materialist political cleavage. The paper also provides a solid conceptual discussion of the classic and almost universal polarity between left and right, which (like the high-low axis) is in fact comprised of two subdimensions.
  • Topic: Democratization, Political Theory, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Lucan A. Way
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper uses the case of Russia in the 1990s to demonstrate the utility of approaching transitional regimes not just as emerging democracies but as failed or unconsolidated authoritarian regimes. Even for many competitive or democratic regimes, it is essential to focus not just on the development of constitutions, civil society, or party systems, but on the success or failure of efforts to build institutions to eliminate opposition and maintain political control. I examine the evolution of state and party organizational strategies by Yeltsin and then Putin to consolidate power and the impact of these strategies on regime competitiveness. First, I demonstrate how state and party weakness under Yeltsin in the early 1990s promoted political contestation in important ways. In turn, stronger state and party organization under Putin undermined political competition. Next, I show how organizational strategies taken reflected a logic of learning by trial and error. The failure of initial organizational forms to reduce contestation led to adoption of new approaches, culminating in Putin's decision to create a highly centralized state structure and single ruling party.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Politics, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Russia