GLD Working Papers


The Importance of Intersectionality: Gender, Islamism, and Tribalism in Elections

Kristen Kao & Lindsay J. Benstead

Abstract

Many studies of electoral behavior and women’s electability in the developing world focus on single traits—e.g., religion, gender, and ethnicity. Yet, candidate identities affect electability intersectionally—i.e., identities are mutually constituted by social hierarchies, leading to complex, interactive effects—in ways that are underexplored in this existing literature. Using an original survey experiment conducted among 1,499 Jordanians, we examine the effects of multiple, intersecting candidate identities (i.e., gender, tribe, and Islamist party identification) on voter preferences. Respondents at random received statements about male or female candidates who were Islamists or co-tribalists and rated their likelihood of voting for each. We argue and show empirically that existing theories of electoral behavior cannot account for women’s electability
without an approach that considers how social hierarchies intersectionally shape electability. We find that although less electable overall, female candidates fare as well as comparable males once intersectional identities are accounted for. Among some voters, women do better than men from similar groups. Our findings underscore the need to apply intersectionality to theories of electoral behavior in the developing world and lay the groundwork for a larger research agenda explaining women’s electability.

 

Ceasefires as State-Building

Marika Sosnowski

Abstract

This paper views ceasefires as rarely only a “cease fire”. Rather it reconceptualises ceasefires more as particular types of wartime order that can have a variety of different state-building consequences on the ground. These include ramifications for local level conflict dynamics, the development of rebel governance institutions, humanitarian access and the renegotiation of claims to territorial and citizenship rights. Thinking about the state-building implications of ceasefires in civil war is relevant not only for academia but also for peace- and policy-makers. This is because if we move beyond seeing ceasefires as simply a tool for stopping or reducing levels of violence to better understanding the diverse effects ceasefires can have on the ground we can better manage the negotiation process and build any eventual peace.

 

Beyond the Democratic Paradox: The Decline of Democracy in Turkey

Yeşim Arat

Abstract

This paper provides a close look at Turkey’s experience with democratic backsliding and argues that at different stages of this process, different structural and agential factors contributed to the decline of democracy in the country. It takes a “synthetic” theoretical approach--one that highlights the role of political actors, economic relations, political institutions and the importance of strategic coalitions, in understanding the gradual process of democratic erosion. The paper argues that the agential factors were important both in precipitating the decline and deepening it. Meanwhile, economic relations and weaknesses of institutions allowed the strategic coalitions to shape the process. The experience of backsliding in Turkey makes us aware that academics must also take into account the role of duplicity in the process, for the full picture of democratic decline is fashioned through a complex web of opportunism and deception.

 

Legacy Institutions and Political Order in Weak States: Evidence from Chad

Paul Thissen

Abstract

This paper investigates variation in the ability of non-state institutions to produce political order in weak states. In countries with weak central governments, non-state institutions, such as chieftaincies, are often seen performing many of the functions of a state: enforcing legal codes, collecting taxes, guaranteeing property rights, and ensuring security. However, while some chieftaincies demonstrate an impressive command over their followers, in other places, residents feel free to disobey their chief’s edicts. To account for such variation, this paper draws on immersive fieldwork in Chad to present a theory of institutional time-dependent reputation and how it affects individuals’ compliance decisions. I explain how centuries-old institutions can command greater compliance than newer institutions, because people grow up knowing the institution’s reputation, believing they will be punished if they disobey its leader. In contrast, people are still formulating their beliefs about newer institutions, because they are unsure whether newer institutions are capable of following through with consequences. I corroborate this theoretical argument with new evidence from in-depth interviews with chiefs and a survey of 2,300 Chadian villagers across peripheral regions of Chad. I find that residents have higher expectations of compliance in areas where there are older institutions with established reputations, a finding that is robust to a variety of analytical approaches and statistical models.

 

Everyday Corruption and Social Norms in Post-Soviet Uzbekistan

Rustamjon Urinboyev

Abstract

This paper aims to contribute to the scholarly debates and efforts to understand and diagnose corruption and its societal implications. It probes the ways in which certain informal, nonlegal practices and transactions are driven not always by kleptocracy, individual greed, or survival strategies; they may also reflect people’s desire to fulfill their family and kinship obligations, socialize and maintain membership in their networks and community, avoid gossip and social sanctions, gain or preserve social status and reputation, or obtain more moral and affective support from those around them.