Sarah Sunn Bush and Eleanor Gao, Small Tribes, Big Gains: The Strategic Uses of Gender Quotas in the Middle East

Why do some political actors nominate women more than others in the Muslim world? This article argues that certain social groups have an instrumental demand for female candidates because they believe such candidates will enhance their electoral chances in the wake of gender quotas’ adoption. Looking at Jordan, it hypothesizes that small tribes can make big gains by nominating women due to the design of the country’s reserved seat quota. This argument complements existing perspectives on women’s (under-)representation in the Muslim world, which emphasize the role of features of the culture, economy, or religion. The analysis of original data on Jordan’s local elections and tribes supports the argument. The article’s findings have implications for our understanding of women’s representation, tribal politics, and authoritarian elections.

Brandon Van Dyck, The Paradox of Adversity: New Left Party Survival and Collapse in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina

Strong parties are critical for democracy, but under what conditions do strong parties emerge? Paradoxically, adverse conditions may facilitate successful party-building. Office-seekers with low access to state resources and mass media must undertake the difficult work of organization-building to contend for power. Because organization-building is slow, laborious, sometimes risky, and usually non-remunerative, the process selects for ideologically committed activists. Low state and media access thus facilitates the construction of durable parties—and is empirically associated with opposition to authoritarian rule. The article illustrates this argument through a comparison of three recently emerged left-wing parties in Latin America: two that survived early electoral crises, Brazil’s Workers’ Party and Mexico’s Party of the Democratic Revolution, and one that did not, Argentina’s Front for a Country in Solidarity.

Dorothee Bohle and Wade Jacoby, Lean, Special, or Consensual? Vulnerability and External Buffering in the Small States of East-Central Europe

This article embeds the small state experiences in East Central Europe into the broader comparative political economy literature. These broader debates have developed three propositions—one about the need for liberal orthodoxy in small, vulnerable states, a second about special forms of comparative advantage such small states might develop, and the third about the capacities of small states to adapt through consultation and compensation. We demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of each in East Central Europe, and we then analyze a key scope condition for small states’ successful adaptation, namely the buffering function from the international system. Existing literature overemphasizes the impact of domestic strategies and downplays the contribution of the international system when accounting for small states’ successes (and failures) in recovering after major shocks. Only when domestic strategies are supported (rather than undercut) by external factors can small states recover and adapt.

Güneş Murat Tezcür and Mehmet Gurses, Ethnic Exclusion and Mobilization: The Kurdish Conflict in Turkey

Why does ethnicity become politically salient and the basis of mobilization for some members of a disadvantaged group but not for others? This article suggests that members of a disadvantaged ethnic group are unlikely to support ethnic mobilization as long as they perceive the channels of personal mobility in the political system open. It builds upon an original dataset of biographical information of 2,952 governors, ministers, and judges in Turkey. The results show that support for Kurdish ethno-mobilization and recruitment into the Kurdish insurgency remain low in Kurdish localities with greater representation in the echelons of political power. This finding supports institutional approach to the study of ethnicity and demonstrates the importance of state recruitment patterns in shaping the political saliency of ethnic identity.

Todd A. Eisenstadt and Karleen Jones West, Opinion, Vulnerability, and Living with Extraction on Ecuador’s Oil Frontier: Where the Debate Between Development and Environmentalism Gets Personal

While economic structural arguments have long explained pro-environment attitudes in affluent, developed countries, these arguments are insufficient in poorer developing nations, where citizens may feel more vulnerable to ecosystem change. Using a nationwide survey of environmental dispositions in Ecuador, we argue that vulnerability to environmental changes and proximity to resource extraction are instrumental in shaping environmental concern. We claim that vulnerability to environmental change enhances concern over the environment. We also argue that a respondent’s proximity to where extraction has occurred or is under consideration also increases their environmental concern. Our survey analysis strongly supports our hypotheses, leading us to conclude that attitudes based on self-interest rather than normative values may be easier for policymakers to draw upon in devising policy reforms.

Matthew Rhodes-Purdy, Beyond the Balance Sheet: Performance, Participation, and Regime Support in Latin America

This article examines incongruities between policy performance and regime support in Chile and Venezuela. Democratic theory and political psychology suggest that intrinsic characteristics of regime procedures, especially the extent to which those procedures provide citizens with a meaningful political role, can influence support independently of policy outcomes. I find that Chile’s elitist democracy has created an enervated populace, leading to anemic support. Conversely, Venezuela’s provisions for direct participatory opportunities help to legitimate the Bolivarian regime, in spite of its authoritarian tendencies, by encouraging a sense of control and efficacy among its citizens.

Henry Thomson, Food and Power: Agricultural Policy under Democracy and Dictatorship

Political interventions in agricultural markets have significant effects on development outcomes. Although dictatorships have been found to follow urban-biased policies, which decrease the price of agricultural produce, this finding does not fully explain variation in agricultural policy across regime type. I argue that policy under autocracy is a function of the power of producers and consumers to organize collectively and threaten a regime, while democratic governments respond to electoral incentives for redistribution. I analyze policy outcomes in 56 countries between 1963 and 2002 and find that democracies increase returns to farmers compared to autocracies. However, autocracies provide greater levels of support to farmers when landholding inequality or income inequality is high. Urbanization is associated with lower rates of assistance to agriculture under dictatorship versus democracy.