ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

Ethnic party competition in a multi-level perspective: Intra- and inter-ethnic coalitions in local elections

Edina Szöcsik
University of Basel
Edina Szöcsik
University of Basel
Open Panel

Abstract

In ethnically divided societies the ethnic dimension of party competition is usually highly salient and party formation often takes place based on ethnic categories. Ethnic parties have been evaluated until recently as dangerous for democratic stability. According to the ethnic outbidding model, ethnic parties inevitably radicalize due to intra-ethnic competition (Horowitz 1984; Rabushka and Shepsle 1972). However, as the power-sharing literature argues if ethnic parties cooperate, they may moderate (Lijphart 1977). The purpose of this paper is to analyse coalition building along the ethnic divides in a multi-level setting. The main research question is: Under which circumstances take intra- and inter-ethnic coalition building place at the local level? From a theoretical perspective, the main goal is to analyse the formation of intra- and inter-ethnic coalitions based on literature on multi-level party politics. We develop hypotheses grounded in coalition and ethnic party politics. However, there is little literature looking at the sub-national level (e.g. Bäck 2003; Bäck 2009; Skjaeveland et al. 2007) and only recently scholars started to integrate Eastern European countries in coalition research (e.g. Bergman and Ersson 2009; Grotz and Weber forthcoming). We evaluate the emerging field on the formation of coalitions in a multi-level perspective as very promising for the analysis of our research question (e.g. Debus 2008; Orte and Wilson 2009; special issue of “Regional and Federal Studies” 2009). Empirically, we statistically test our hypotheses based on a dataset on electoral coalitions for the office of the mayor in the local elections in Slovakia in 2010.