Date of Award
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Timothy D. Sisk, Ph.D.
Electoral systems, Ethnic conflict, Ethnic politics, Peacebuilding, Political parties
Under what conditions do multiethnic political parties win elections in deeply divided societies? Using the cases of India, Indonesia, and South Africa, this dissertation first argues that the nature of liberation movements creates a soft path dependence that affects party formation. Ethnically inclusive liberation movements create conditions conducive to the formation of multiethnic political parties. Yet after this juncture point of party formation, multiethnic politics have dominated India and Indonesia while South Africa has experienced a slow degeneration into ethnic politics. To explain this divergence, this dissertation next examines the interaction of election rules and ethnic cleavage structure. India and Indonesia reinforce broadly crosscutting cleavages with multiple-district and candidate-centered elections. This forces parties to contest elections in ethnically diverse districts with local candidates, which encourages broad-based, inclusive political appeals. South Africa's electoral system does the opposite. Its functionally single-district proportional representation system incentivizes identity politics by translating control of the ethnic majority into control of parliamentary power. This has resulted in the slow degeneration of Mandela's multiethnic liberation movement into an ethnically exclusive political party.
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Macdonald, Geoffrey P., "Parties and Peacebuilding: The Institutional Origin of Multiethnic Politics in India, Indonesia, and South Africa" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 865.
Received from ProQuest
Geoffrey P. Macdonald