The mobilization of ethnic groups during elections is seen by many as one of the greatest threats to democracy in ethnically diverse societies. Two important questions are: Why does ethnicity become politicized in some elections, but not in others? and Why do particular ethnic categories become politicized, while others do not? Two arguments in the literature offer explanations. The ﬁrst argument posits that groups are mobilized along ethnic lines when voters have strong emotional allegiances to their ethnic group; in effect, the ethnic politicization of elections is viewed as a reﬂection of societal ethnic cleavages. A second argument focuses on electoral rules and asserts that proportional representation politicizes ethnicity by enabling small ethnic parties to compete. Unfortunately, the empirical evidence to support these arguments is limited. This dissertation takes a more dynamic approach by focusing on individual candidates and their incentives to make ethnic appeals. I argue that under party-centric electoral rules, a candidate’s ethnic appeals are inﬂuenced from above—by their party’s stance on ethnic issues. In contrast, under candidate-centric rules, a candidate’s ethnic appeals are inﬂuenced from below; in particular, by the size of ethnic groups within the candidate’s electoral district.
International Relations | Political Science
City or Country
The George Washington University
FOX, Colm A.. (2017). Appealing to the masses understanding ethnic politics and elections in Indonesia. The George Washington University: ProQuest Dissertations.
FOX, Colm A., "Appealing to the masses understanding ethnic politics and elections in Indonesia" (2017). Research Collection School of Social Sciences. Paper 2196.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/2196
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