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Ethno-embedded institutionalism: the impact of institutional repertoires on ethnic violence

Theuerkauf, Ulrike (2012) Ethno-embedded institutionalism: the impact of institutional repertoires on ethnic violence. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Hitherto, the relationships between political institutions and ethnopolitical (in)stability typically have been analysed by investigating the effects of single, formal political institutions such as electoral systems or state structures (see e.g. Reynolds 2002; Roeder and Rothchild 2005). My doctoral thesis criticises this research focus on two different yet equally relevant accounts: First, the tendency to single out the effects of individual institutions is based on the implicit – and as I claim: wrong – assumption that political institutions can be treated as separate entities and that it is only of secondary relevance of which broader set of institutions they form part. Second, despite studies which highlight the relevance of informal political institutions (see e.g. Sisk and Stefes 2005; Varshney 2002), they have received far less attention in the academic debate so far. ‘Ethno-Embedded Institutionalism’ describes a new approach to the study of institutional incentives for ethnic violence which goes beyond the mere focus on single, formal political institutions by highlighting the effects of both institutional combinations and informal political institutions on the risk of ethnic civil war. To test the relevance of ‘Ethno-Embedded Institutionalism’, I use a grievance-based explanation of intrastate violence and binary time-series-cross-section analysis based on a personally designed dataset that covers 174 countries between 1955 and 2007. I present statistical evidence that high levels of corruption on the one hand, and institutional combinations of presidentialism, a majoritarian electoral system for the legislature and a unitary state structure on the other increase the risk of large-scale ethnic violence. Overall, my thesis contributes to the academic debate in three relevant regards: i) by conceptualising and testing Ethno-Embedded Institutionalism; ii) by describing a grievance-based explanation of large-scale ethnic violence which clearly identifies the key values of political representation; and iii) by presenting the EEI Dataset as the first comprehensive data source for the systematic statistical analysis of institutional incentives for ethnic civil war.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Ulrike Theuerkauf
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Hix, Simon and Mitchell, Paul

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