Mark Beissinger, Amaney A. Jamal, and Kevin Mazur, Explaining Divergent Revolutionary Coalitions: Regime Strategies and the Structuring of Participation in the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions

This study seeks to explain why the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions mobilized different constituencies. Using original survey data, we establish that while participants in both revolutions prioritized economic concerns and corruption over civil and political freedoms, Tunisian revolutionaries were significantly younger and more diverse in class composition than the predominantly middle-aged and middle-class participants in the Egyptian Revolution. Tunisian revolutionaries were also less likely to be members of civil society associations and more likely to rely on the internet as their source of information during the revolution. We explain these differences by reference to disparate incumbent regime strategies for coping with similar structural pressures for state contraction and political reform, which created different patterns of societal grievance and opposition mobilizing structures in their wake.

Isabela Mares and Boliang Zhu, The Production of Electoral Intimidation: Economic and Political Incentives

This article presents an account of the conditions under which politicians engage in the production of electoral intimidation, by enlisting support from state employees and private actors. We characterize the political and economic factors that influence the cost-benefit calculations of these actors and their decisions to engage in the systematic harassment of voters. Empirically, our article examines the political and economic determinants of electoral irregularities in German elections during the period between 1870 and 1912. The most salient economic variable that affects the decision of private actors to engage in the electoral intimidation of voters is the occupational heterogeneity of a district. Other economic conditions in a district have no systematic effect on the incidence of electoral intimidation. We also find that political factors such as the level of electoral competition, strength of the political opposition, and the fragmentation among right parties affect the incidence of electoral irregularities.

Olukunle P. Owolabi, Literacy and Democracy despite Slavery: Forced Settlement and Postcolonial Outcomes in the Developing World

This article explores the developmental consequences of forced settlement colonization, based on the large-scale import of African slaves and/or Asian indentured laborers into newly settled territories. Paradoxically, forced settlement resulted in superior levels of educational attainment and postcolonial democracy than European domination over indigenous populations (i.e., colonial occupation) among countries and territories decolonized after 1945. This relationship is robust to statistical controls for British rule, European settlement, socio-economic development, ethnicity, religious composition, and geography. Investigating the role of Protestant missionaries and colonial legal institutions as possible causal mechanisms linking forced settlement to surprisingly favorable developmental outcomes, I find that directly ruled colonies that universalized metropolitan legal rights prior to World War II have performed better than colonies that maintained distinct “native codes” for indigenous populations.

Catherine Boone and Lydia Nyeme, Land Institutions and Political Ethnicity in Africa: Evidence from Tanzania

Existing work on land politics in Africa suggests that governments, by creating and upholding neocustomary land tenure regimes, create powerful incentives for individuals to embrace state-recognized ethnic identities. This article strengthens the argument about the institutional determinants of ethnicity’s high political salience through the use of contrasting evidence from Tanzania. In Tanzania, non-neocustomary land tenure institutions prevail, and the political salience of ethnic identity is low. Even in a hard-test region of high in-migration and high competition for farmland, the political salience of ethnic identity in land politics is low. The findings suggest that political science needs to take seriously the role of state institutions in producing politically-salient ethnic identities in Africa.

Alexander G. Kuo, Explaining Historical Employer Coordination: Evidence from Germany

What explains historical cross-national variation in the degree of employer coordination and related industrial institutions within advanced industrialized states? Explaining such variation is important because such outcomes are related to contemporary patterns in social policy and inequality. Recent literature emphasizes the historical importance of electoral systems for the development of such firm coordination. I present an alternative conceptualization of the outcome and a theory; existing theories cannot explain the important role of early coordinated institutions of repression among firms. I argue that the redistributive threat posed by workers explains the emergence of collective repression and that extreme threats induced collective collaboration with workers. Detailed historical evidence from the early twentieth century and the inter-war period in Germany is used to support the theory.

Riitta-Ilona Koivumaeki, Evading the Constraints of Globalization: Oil and Gas Nationalization in Venezuela and Bolivia

Economic nationalism has returned to Latin America. This article examines what has allowed leaders to advance their nationalistic agendas and expropriate foreign investment, despite the institutional safeguards that investors have established. Case studies of Venezuelan and Bolivian hydrocarbon nationalization show that the deterrent power of the investment regime of the 1990s, institutionalized in bilateral investment treaties, is weakest precisely when it is most needed by investors. When a commodity boom increases profits in the sector, the host government is motivated to expropriate multinationals. Ironically, the price increase also enables governments to bear the treaties’ costs by accepting international arbitration and paying any resulting compensation. Using data from 130 in-depth interviews conducted in Venezuela and Bolivia, this article demonstrates the limits of the constraints of globalization.

Yonatan Morse, From Single-Party to Electoral Authoritarian Regimes: The Institutional Origins of Competitiveness in Post-Cold War Africa

Scholarship on authoritarianism has become concerned with variation in electoral authoritarian
outcomes, observed in terms of the competitiveness of elections. Simultaneously, there has been a growing focus on the role of authoritarian institutions, and especially political parties, in explaining authoritarian survival. This article links these two perspectives by focusing on the subset of formerly single-party regimes in Africa that transitioned to electoral authoritarianism. The article highlights differences in party institutionalization and patterns of social incorporation as key aspects that help explain the competitiveness of elections. Through typological theorizing, ten countries are compared along measures of party capacity, economic performance, opposition strength, and external actor pressure. The study aims to highlight variation in institutional development in African cases and to illuminate the underpinnings of electoral authoritarian regimes.