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Title: Why do some illiberal democracies fall into conflict while others do not? Evaluating formal and informal mechanisms of distribution through elite bargaining
Other Titles: Why do some illiberal democracies fall into conflict while others do not?
Authors: Rodríguez, Liliana Narváez
Advisors: Hansen, M E
Macmillan, J
Keywords: Informal institutions;Ethnic conflict;Horizontal inequalities;Redistribution;Elites
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: Civil conflict is a complex multi-layered event. As an outcome it represents a product of both the structural framework in place and decision-making between the different elite groups. From a historical neoinstitutionalist perspective, this dissertation will provide an answer as to why some illiberal democracies fall into civil conflict while others do not. It argues that horizontally unequal elites bargain for (re)distribution of political participation, economic assets and social services through formal and informal institutions in order to expand the shares of the goods distributed. The presence of cleavages and grievances amongst groups are enhanced when exclusion through inefficient redistribution takes place; therefore, a bargain failure with the potential to activate violent means, implies a disagreement amongst the elites over the allocation of resources to different societal groups. Bargain failures occur in the presence of non-credible commitments and information asymmetries. Inefficiency in the distribution can also be captured through informal institutions in the form of patronage networks, a side of the transaction spectrum which has been understudied. The contribution of this thesis to the general debate stems from this acknowledgement and alleviates this by incorporating the full spectrum of institutions which operate effectively within illiberal democratic regimes. Patronage networks despite being a fundamental part of how politics is conducted in illiberal democratic regimes have surprisingly been neglected in the contemporary study of conflict onset. By conducting two-level fsQCA along a selection of 21 cases of illiberal democracy across 1980-2012 including cases of ethnic conflict onset, the analysis will show that distribution through patronage networks does play a role in triggering conflict or in aiding to control violence depending on the efficiency of the distribution across grieved groups. Further comparative analysis of a most likely and least likely case for cases of conflict (Thailand and India Bodo conflict) and peace (Namibia and Bolivia) reveals that the effect of the patronage mechanisms when redistributive, plays a larger role as an instrument of preventing violent disputes across horizontally unequal ethnic groups.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Politics and International Relations
Dept of Politics, History and Law Theses

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