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Understanding Substantive Representation of Women in Consociational Post-Conflict Political Systems

Feminist critics of power-sharing argue that consociational structures privilege ethnic groups and that power-sharing is “bad for women.” This article identifies a gap in the relatively new field of research on gender equality and ethno-national power-sharing, as the focus so far has been mainly on women’s political exclusion, with limited attention on the representation of women’s needs and interests through policy. In bringing together power-sharing literature, representation theory and a gendered understanding of institutions and change, this article issues a call for further research. The article proposes an analytical framework, to be applied in empirical research on: Where, why, and how substantive representation of women in post-conflict consociational political systems occurs? An initial examination of a case from Bosnia and Herzegovina is presented, demonstrating how the analytical framework can be applied on violence against women policy research. Even though Bosnia and Herzegovina was a lead in the Istanbul Convention ratification, in the implementation, the consociational conditions in decision-making have led to disparate directions. The article makes a contribution to existing analytical debates at the intersection of consociationalism and women’s representation and has a practical goal: drawing the attention of scholars to the study of substantive representation of women.

Grievances, Policies or Clientelism? The Different Logics behind Ethnic Voting in Democracies and Autocracies

In this article, we explore the reasons why some ethnic groups tend to vote along ethnic lines while others do not. We argue that existing explanations for ethnic voting can be grouped into three main approaches: policy-based, grievance-based, and clientelism. However, we contend that inconsistencies in previous empirical research come from a failure to account for the political context in which ethnic voting occurs. Specifically, we argue that ethnic voting in democracies operates on a different logic than in non-democratic regimes. Our argument posits that policy- and grievance-based factors are the primary determinants of ethnic voting in democracies, whereas clientelist networks play a crucial role in understanding ethnic voting in autocratic regimes. To test our hypotheses, we use a sample of 428 ethnic groups from 33 African countries between 2005 and 2018, as well as a novel survey-based measurement of voting preferences among ethnic group members. Our findings support our hypotheses: in democratic regimes, grievance-based and policy-based explanations have strong explanatory power, whereas clientelism is the primary driver of ethnic bloc voting in autocracies. We conclude that both regime type and the different underlying mechanisms of clientelism require greater consideration in the research on ethnic voting.