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"Heritage Populism" and France's National Front
Author: Reynié, Dominique
Abstract: The established democracies are in a state of major upheaval. For Europe in particular, the years since the late 1980s have brought two powerfully destabilizing changes. The first is internal. It concerns population aging and its consequences. These include welfare states that are becoming harder to afford, immigration, and the ethnocultural recomposition of societies, with Islam emerging as a key issue. The second is external and relates to economic, technological, and cultural globalization. Increasingly, Europe is finding that control over its fate lies beyond its own borders. As a result of these changes, ever more Europeans are coming to feel that both their material standards of living and their accustomed ways of life are being eroded. Meanwhile, mainstream parties of the left and right have governed -- whether in turn or jointly -- for the past quarter century without devising solutions. Voters have become disillusioned and more inclined to turn to populist parties.
Oil Corrupts Elections: The Political Economy of Vote-Buying in Nigeria
Author: Onapajo, Hakeem; Francis, Suzanne; Okeke-Uzodike, Ufo
Source: African Studies Quarterly 15, 2 (2015): 1-21.
Abstract: The extant perspectives on vote-buying have produced three central arguments around its causes, which are the factors of poverty, the electoral/voting system, and the nature of politics in the state. Going beyond these perspectives, this study presents the argument that vote-buying can also be explained by considering the nature of the political economy of a state, especially when the state is oil-dependent. The Nigerian case study demonstrates this argument. We employ the "oil-impedes-democracy" framework, which is a strand of the resource curse theory, to argue that the incidence of vote-buying in Nigeria's contemporary elections is prevalent because of the oil wealth associated with politics and elections in the state. This is because abundant oil wealth intensifies elite competition, which explains the use of all strategies to win elections including vote-buying. This is also facilitated by the fact that the political elite, especially the incumbent, have adequate access to oil wealth and spend it to "buy" elections and hold on power. Voters, on their part, also prefer to sell their votes during elections to have a share of the "national cake" given their perception of the wealth associated with politics in Nigeria and the poor service delivery by politicians after assuming state offices.
Political activism in Iran: strategies for survival, possibilities for resistance and authoritarianism
Author: Rivetti, Paola
Source: Democratization 24, 6 (2017): 1178-1194.
Abstract: This article examines mobilizations and activism in authoritarian settings by considering the case of Iran. By focusing on the transformation of activism since the 1990s and the green movement, it advances an explanation of how oppositional political groups have been able to survive and produce forms of resistant subjectivity despite authoritarian constraints. In order to do so, the article brings together two scholarly traditions, namely Social Movement Theory (SMT) and the study of subjectivity and resistance as framed by Sari Hanafi. SMT explains how activists have been able to navigate repression and create opportunities for mobilization while shifting between formal and informal politics. The study of subjectivity helps conceptualize the type of subjects or political citizens that authoritarian environments generate. The article builds on field research with activists conducted in Iran and Turkey between 2007 and 2016. It argues that authoritarian constraints allow autonomous activism to flourish while emptying of meaning the regime-sanctioned political infrastructures.
Competing Inequalities? On the Intersection of Gender and Ethnicity in Candidate Nominations in Indian Elections
Author: Jensenius, Francesca R .
Source: Government and Opposition5, 3 (Jul 2016): 440-463.
Abstract: Quotas for women and ethnic minorities are implemented to increase diversity in political institutions, but, as they usually target only one group at a time, they may end up increasing the inclusion of one under-represented group at the cost of another. Recent work has emphasized the institutional underpinnings of the variation in such outcomes. In this article I show how the intersectional effects of quotas may also vary within the same institutional context, as changes in the pressure to include excluded groups interact with the informal opportunity structures within political parties. Looking at the nomination of female candidates across India over time, I show that, as the efforts to include more women in politics intensified, much of the increase in female candidates occurred in constituencies reserved for ethnic minorities. This pattern may in part be the result of parties resisting changes to existing power hierarchies by nominating women at the cost of the least powerful male politicians, but can also be seen as evidence that minority quotas have created a political space that is more accessible to women.