Menu Adam R Brown

Notes navigation: Browse by titleBrowse by authorSubject index

Ferree: The social origins of electoral volatility in Africa

Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I even say who wrote them. If you have more recent summaries to add to this collection, send them my way I guess. Sorry for the ads; they cover the costs of keeping this online.

Ferree. 2005. The social origins of electoral volatility in Africa. unpublished.

In Brief

VOLATILITY (Y) is the number of seats that parties gain and lose each election. When volatility is too high, politics gets messy (short time horizons, thus bargaining breakdowns and coalition failures); when volatility is too low, incumbents get away with too much. But we know little about volatility, except that it is more common in younger democracies. But WHY DOES VOLATILITY VARY even across young democracies?

There are two likely answers: Institutional arrangements and social cleavages. We know a decent amount about institutions (electoral rules, presidentialism, federalism) but very little about the effects of social cleavages (except for Lipset and Rokkan 1967 and a few other European anlayses).

This paper focuses on SOCIAL CLEAVAGES (X), particularly ethnic cleavages (in Africa), as an explanation.

THE MODEL

NUMBER OF WINNING COALITIONS

ASSUMPTIONS

Assumes that there are, in fact, incentives for aggregation (e.g. electoral incentives).

EMPIRICAL TEST: AFRICA

CRITICISMS


Research by the same authors

Research on similar subjects

Tags

Ferree, Karen (author)Political ScienceComparative PoliticsPartiesSocial CleavagesParty SystemsLinkageElectionsElectoral Rules

Wikisum home: Index of all summaries by title, by author, or by subject.