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Powersharing and Democratic Survival

[research report]

Graham, Benjamin A.T.; Miller, Michael K.; Strøm, Kaare W.

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Corporate Editor Institut für Höhere Studien (IHS), Wien
Abstract Democracy is often fragile, especially in states that have recently experienced civil conflict. To protect emerging democracies, many scholars and practitioners recommend political powersharing institutions. Yet there is little empirical research on whether powersharing promotes democratic survival, and some concern that it can limit electoral accountability. To fill this gap, we differentiate between inclusive, dispersive, and constraining powersharing and analyze their effects on democratic survival using a new global dataset. We find sharp distinctions across types of powersharing and political context. Inclusive powersharing, such as ethnic quotas, promotes democratic survival only in post-conflict settings. In contrast, dispersive institutions such as federalism destabilize post-conflict democracies. Only constraining powersharing consistently facilitates democratic survival in societies both with and without recent conflict. Our results suggest that institution-builders and international organizations should prioritize institutions that constrain leaders, including independent judiciaries, civilian control of the armed forces, and constitutional protections of individual and group rights.
Keywords power; structure; democracy; political influence; separation of powers; conception of democracy; international comparison; political institution; political system
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; Political System, Constitution, Government
Free Keywords Powersharing
Document language English
Publication Year 2016
City Wien
Page/Pages 43 p.
Series Reihe Politikwissenschaft / Institut für Höhere Studien, Abt. Politikwissenschaft, 141
ISSN 1605-8003
Status Published Version
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications