Raúl L. Madrid, Opposition Parties and the Origins of Democracy in Latin America
Democracy is often a conquest of elite opposition parties. In electoral authoritarian regimes, opposition parties will promote suffrage expansion in order to weaken the ruling parties’ control over elections and improve their own electoral possibilities. Ruling parties, by contrast, will oppose suffrage expansion for the same reasons that opposition parties support it, and they will use their control of the political system to block it. Suffrage reforms typically occur in electoral authoritarian regimes only when there is a split within the ruling coalition that leads a faction to side with the opposition. I explore these arguments through detailed qualitative analyses of suffrage reforms in Chile in 1874 and Uruguay in 1918, as well as a quantitative analysis of a roll-call vote in Chile.
Michael Marcusa, Radicalism on the Periphery: History, Collective Memory, and the Cultural Resonance of Jihadist Ideology in Tunisia
This article explores sub-national variation in jihadist Salafist mobilization through a comparative analysis of two Tunisian interior towns: Sidi Bouzid and Metlaoui. After the Arab Spring, while Sidi Bouzid emerged as a bastion of jihadist Salafism and Islamic State foreign fighter recruitment, the movement failed to gain broad-based legitimacy in Metlaoui. On the basis of the comparison, this study introduces a new explanation for the variation in jihadist mobilization: state-building legacies and collective memory. During the 20th century, Sidi Bouzid and Metlaoui were subjected to divergent processes of forced political incorporation that this study argues have had implications for how contemporary citizens respond to jihadist rhetoric. The final part of the article discusses how this insight informs the study of jihadist Salafism in other contexts.
Sebastian Elischer, Governing the Faithful: State Management of Salafi Activity in the Francophone Sahel
The article examines how four states in the francophone Sahel have managed Salafi activity since independence. States that established institutional oversight mechanisms in the Islamic sphere prior to the emergence of Saudi Arabia as a global exporter of Salafi ideology have effectively counteracted the rise of political and jihadi Salafism in recent decades. Autocratic incumbents created national Islamic associations, determined the leadership makeup of these, and delegated state authority to non-Salafi leaders so as to regulate access to the Islamic sphere. The tacit cooperation arrangements between state and nonstate actors enabled the former to demobilize religious challengers. States that chose strategies other than institutional regulation contributed to the rise of political and security challengers. These findings challenge conventional assumptions about the inability of weak states to regulate their religious spheres and shed new light on the complex relationship between weak states and Islam.
Melanie M. Hughes, Pamela Paxton, Amanda B. Clayton, and Pär Zetterberg, Global Gender Quota Adoption, Implementation, and Reform
Over the last fifty years, gender quotas have transformed the composition of national legislatures worldwide. But a lack of systematic cross-national longitudinal data limits the questions researchers are able to ask about quotas. This article introduces a new dataset—QAROT (Quota Adoption and Reform Over Time)—the first global dataset on gender quota adoption, implementation, and reform over time. Theoretically, we clarify important issues in extant quota research. The dataset moves beyond traditional categorizations of quota policies with new measures of quota design, quota thresholds, placement mandates, sanctions for non-compliance, and quota effectiveness. We also create a single-variable measure of the presence of an effective quota to be used by comparative politics researchers to control for this powerful institutional feature.
Noah Buckley and Ora John Reuter, Performance Incentives under Autocracy: Evidence from Russia’s Regions
Available evidence indicates that there is considerable variation among autocracies in the extent to which subnational officials are rewarded for economic growth. Why is economic performance used as a criterion for appointment in some autocracies but not in others? We argue that in more competitive—though still autocratic—regimes, the political imperatives of maintaining an electoral machine that can win semi-competitive elections leads regime leaders to abandon cadre policies that promote economic development. Using data on turnover among high-level economic bureaucrats in Russia’s 89 regions between 2001 and 2012, we find that performance-based appointments are more frequent in less competitive regions. These findings demonstrate one way that semi-competitive elections can actually undermine economic development under autocracy
Andrew Schrank, Cross-Class Coalitions and Collective Goods: The Farmacias del Pueblo in the Dominican Republic
The farmacias del pueblo in the Dominican Republic sell generic drugs to eligible consumers at bargain-basement prices. While their proponents portray them as models of public enterprise and welcome their efforts to bring essential medicines to poor people, their critics worry that they are used less to protect public health than to purchase political support—with perverse consequences for democracy and distribution. Are the farmacias an indispensable source of essential medicine or an inefficient source of political patronage? I study their location and utilization; find that they are both located in low-income communities and open to better-off buyers; and conclude that by combining the efficiency of spatial targeting with the popularity of universal access, they offer developing democracies a sustainable approach to social policy.
Lindsay Mayka, The Origins of Strong Institutional Design: Policy Reform and Participatory Institutions in Brazil’s Health Sector
Why do some participatory institutions develop strong institutional designs, when most have limited powers? Existing literature emphasizes the importance of institutional design in shaping the impact of participatory institutions, yet falls short in accounting for the origins of design. Through an analysis of Brazil’s health councils, this article argues that bundling the creation of a participatory institution with substantive policy reform can 1) create opportunities to pass the laws and regulations needed for a strong design and 2) introduce incentives for otherwise reluctant stakeholders to support the participatory institution as an instrument to obtain their substantive policy goals. This article highlights an unexpected benefit of institutional conversion, demonstrating that shifting the base of stakeholder support can sometimes strengthen institutions rather than undermining them.
Kathleen Thelen, Transitions to the Knowledge Economy in Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands
The advanced economies are experiencing a set of shared challenges in the transition to a new “knowledge economy” characterized by rapid technological innovation and associated with a heightened premium on higher education. Yet individual countries are charting rather different courses as they navigate this transition. This article examines divergent trajectories of change in three coordinated market economies—Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands. It argues that differences in the organization of business and labor, and in the institutions that structure their interactions with each other and with the state, have produced different coalitional alignments and led these countries onto divergent paths toward the knowledge economy today.