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Amanda Lea Robinson (The Ohio State University) gives a talk on 'The Political Implications of Ethnic Visibility', in the Political Behaviour Colloquium

Dates:
  • Thu 28 Jan 2021 17.15 - 18.30
  Add to Calendar 2021-01-28 17:15 2021-01-28 18:30 Europe/Paris Amanda Lea Robinson (The Ohio State University) gives a talk on 'The Political Implications of Ethnic Visibility', in the Political Behaviour Colloquium

Political Behaviour Colloquium 

Abstract: Ethnic identities form the basis of political organization in many African countries, shaping vote choice, partisanship, policy preferences, and allegiances amid violence. The political utility of ethnicity is typically attributed to the fact that ethnic group membership is readily observable. However, a small body of existing work shows that ethnicity is not as visible as many theories assume. I advance this work by proposing that within-group variation in ethnic visibility has important political implications. In particular, I argue that more visible members of an ethnic group are more likely to support coethnic politicians and ethnic parties via two pathways: patronage and collective violence. Expectations of patronage drive stronger support among the most visible, as they are the easiest to target with patronage goods if an ethnic party wins once. However, the most ethnically visible are also at the highest risk of being victimized in ethnically-targeted violence, which may drive them to support an ethnic party that can protect them under threat of collective violence. Thus, because they have the most to gain and the most to lose in the outcome of ethnic competition for power and resources, ethnically visible citizens should express greater support for coethnic elites and ethnic parties than their less visible coethnics. I demonstrate support for this argument using original data from members of the Lhomwe ethnic group in Malawi.

Outside EUI premises - Via Zoom DD/MM/YYYY
  Outside EUI premises - Via Zoom

Political Behaviour Colloquium 

Abstract: Ethnic identities form the basis of political organization in many African countries, shaping vote choice, partisanship, policy preferences, and allegiances amid violence. The political utility of ethnicity is typically attributed to the fact that ethnic group membership is readily observable. However, a small body of existing work shows that ethnicity is not as visible as many theories assume. I advance this work by proposing that within-group variation in ethnic visibility has important political implications. In particular, I argue that more visible members of an ethnic group are more likely to support coethnic politicians and ethnic parties via two pathways: patronage and collective violence. Expectations of patronage drive stronger support among the most visible, as they are the easiest to target with patronage goods if an ethnic party wins once. However, the most ethnically visible are also at the highest risk of being victimized in ethnically-targeted violence, which may drive them to support an ethnic party that can protect them under threat of collective violence. Thus, because they have the most to gain and the most to lose in the outcome of ethnic competition for power and resources, ethnically visible citizens should express greater support for coethnic elites and ethnic parties than their less visible coethnics. I demonstrate support for this argument using original data from members of the Lhomwe ethnic group in Malawi.


Location:
Outside EUI premises - Via Zoom

Affiliation:
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Working group

Contact:
Political Behaviour Colloquium - Send a mail

Organiser:
Álvaro Canalejo Molero (EUI - Department of Political and Social Sciences)
Nerea Gándara Guerra (EUI - Department of Political and Social Sciences)
Elias Dinas (EUI)

Speaker:
Amanda Lea Robinson (The Ohio State University)

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