Democratization and Governance
- Bormann, Nils-Christian, Lars-Erik Cederman, Scott Gates, Benjamin A. T. Graham, Simon Hug, Kaare Strøm, and Julian Wucherpfennig. Power-sharing: Institutions, Behavior, and Peace.
Abstract: A key motivation for civil war are grievances that derive from the unequal treatment or outright discrimination of ethnic groups. Ethnic equality, e.g., in the form of power-sharing should therefore reduce the risk of internal conflict. Yet conflict researchers do not agree on whether or not formal power-sharing rules are effective in preventing large-scale violence. We argue that an improved understanding of the effect of power-sharing rules requires an analysis of the stipulated mechanisms, more specifically their effect on power-sharing behavior. Combining data on three conceptually distinct types of formal power-sharing rules with information on power-sharing practices, we empirically assess this relationship on a global scale. Our findings reveal that power-sharing institutions affect the probability of ethnic conflict onset mostly through power-sharing practices that these institutions seem to induce.
- Dahl, Marianne, Scott Gates, Håvard Hegre, Håvard Mokleiv Nygård, and Håvard Strand. Democratic Back-Sliding, 1820 – 2008.
- Dahl, Marianne, Scott Gates, Håvard Hegre, and Håvard Strand. Why Waves? Global Patterns of Democratization, 1800 – 2000.
- Gates, Scott and Mogens Kamp Justesen. Political Trust, Shocks, and Accountability: Quasi-experimental Evidence from a Rebel Attack.
Abstract: This paper examines how violent attacks affect political trust and accountability of democratic governments – and ultimately their chances of surviving in office. Using the case of an unanticipated attack by Tuareg rebels on a military garrison in the West African country of Mali in December 2008, we examine how the attack affected presidential approval and presidential trust. We do so by using survey data which – coincidentally – was collected in the days surrounding the Tuareg attack. The chance occurrence of the attack a few days into the survey demarcates respondents into a group surveyed before the attack and a group surveyed after the attack. We exploit the quasi-experimental nature of this design to study how the public’s presidential approval and trust responds to the news of the rebel attack. The credibility of the quasi-experimental design is strengthened by the fact that respondents in the particular region where the attack was carried out were interviewed in the days surrounding the attack, allowing us to mitigate the effects of geographically imbalanced sampling of respondents. To further enhance the credibility of our results, we also conduct a series of placebo tests using earlier surveys of voters in Mali. Our estimates clearly show that presidential approval and trust decrease significantly following the attack. However, the results also suggest that voters mainly attribute responsibility to the president. While parliamentary approval and trust also declines, voters’ approval of and trust in local governments is unaffected. This suggests that in presidential systems, voters do in fact attribute responsibility for political violence such as rebel attacks mainly to the president and to a lesser extent to parliament and local governments.
- Gates, Scott and Kaare W. Strøm. Warlords, Complicit Publics, and Civil Conflict.
Abstract: Factional warlords given to the use of armed force are a depressingly common phenomenon in poor and divided societies, such as Liberia and other countries torn by civil conflict. Drawing on a model of adverse selection, we show why groups at risk in such divided and conflict prone polities often select military or paramilitary strongmen, rather than civilian politicians, as their leaders. Our model demonstrates that under incomplete information rebel groups’ choice of political leaders depends on three parameters: the type of political candidates on offer (whether munificent or greedy), the relative bargaining power of the rebel group relative to the government, and any constraints on the ability of rebel leaders to divert public resources for their own private gain.
- Holtermann, Helge and Scott Gates. Divided State Authority and the Termination of Civil Conflict: Exploring the Case of Nepal.+++