Comparative Politics

Comparative Politics

Minorities in dictatorship and democracy.

Arseniy Samsonov Author ORCID home | opens in new tab University of California, Los Angeles

Abstract

How does the level of democracy in a country affect the government’s treatment of ethnic minorities? I find that, on average, when the largest ethnic group in a society exceeds half of the population, ethnic minorities are treated better in autocracies and full democracies than in semi-democratic countries. The intuition is that under autocracy a leader needs little popular support, and therefore a coalition of several minorities can rule. By contrast, in a semi-democracy, the leader needs the support of more people, so a coalition of small ethnic groups is insufficient; the largest group is enough and no other groups are necessary. Finally, highly democratic countries require broad support, and most ethnic groups get benefits. My model is based on the Baron-Ferejohn bargaining game and my empirical tests use the Ethnic Power Relations dataset.

Content

Thumbnail image of content item

Comments

Log in using your APSA account or Register to comment open_in_new
Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy open_in_new – please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here open_in_new .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy open_in_new and Terms of Service open_in_new apply.