Research and Publications

In this section, you can find links to my publications and an overview of ongoing research projects. I will upload articles and incorporate data files and replication files as they become available.

REFEREED JOURNAL ARTICLES

Las fracturas de la oposición: Un análisis de clivajes sociales, estructuras de movilización y representación en Bolivia,” Journal de Comunicación Social, 2 (2): 13-44 (2014).

MANUSCRIPTS IN PREPARATION

“Going Beyond Co-Ethnicity: Assessing the Programmatic Reach of Ethnic Cleavages”

Do ethnic cleavages impact voters’ programmatic preferences? Current research views ethnic cleavages as a patronage-based competition for the control of public goods, focusing on co-ethnicity—as opposed to programmatic appeals—as the single driver of ethnic voting. In contrast, this article argues that where between-group inequalities exist, ethnic cleavages can structure policy preferences. These ethnicized preferences serve as alternative cues to co-ethnicity for mobilizing ethnic voting. As such, they can also provide the foundations for the development of programmatic linkages and party systems. The content of these ethnicized preferences, however, is rooted in historical processes and will, therefore, vary across countries. This study uses LAPOP survey data from two least likely cases, Bolivia and Peru (1998-2014), to evaluate the impact of ethnic cleavages on six programmatic dimensions: ideology, state intervention, nationalism, liberal values, democracy, and populism. I find that, in both countries, ethnic cleavages shape programmatic preferences along most dimensions. The findings indicate that ethnic cleavages can have extensive programmatic reach even in conditions of political disorganization and in the absence of co-ethnic politicians. Moreover, they suggest that analyses of ethnic cleavages and political alignments require careful attention to historical processes of identity formation.

“Social Cleavage Organization and Party System Change”

Existing literature assumes that salient social cleavages will naturally structure and stabilize party systems. In contrast, this research distinguishes between the sociological expression of deep-seated cleavages and their organizational anchoring in the party system. It argues that shifts in party system stability are explained, not by cleavage strength, but by variation in the organization and expression of these cleavages. Whereas the organizational anchoring of all of the social blocs within a cleavage should lead to party system stabilization, the disorganization of some or all of these blocs—expressed through fluidity and fragmentation—can have a destabilizing effect. Shifts in this organization, moreover, can trigger major party system transformations, even as the strength of the cleavage remains intact. This paper examines the effects of cleavage strength and organization on party system transformations–consolidation, collapse, and reconstruction–in Bolivia between 1989 and 2014. Using an original measure of social cleavage strength, the study compares the salience of ethnic, class, and urban/rural cleavages throughout this period and finds that the ethnic cleavage has consistently been the most significant cleavage in Bolivia. Its organization, however, has varied over time. Bolivia’s old and new party systems are both asymmetric, but inverse, expressions of the same salient ethnic cleavage. These organizational differences have significantly shaped political behavior and patterns of electoral volatility in recent decades.

 

ONGOING RESEARCH PROJECTS

Dissertation Project: “From Social Cleavages to Party Systems: The Impact of Social Network Structures on Party Building Processes in the Andes”

“Silencing by Denial: The Strategic Exclusion of the Ethnic Cleavage in Peruvian Politics”

“Rupture of Representation? Political Elite Survival After Party System Collapse,” with  Mathias Poertner.

“All Politics is Local: Decentralization and Government Performance across Bolivian Municipalities, 2003-2013,” with Don Leonard.

“Social Movement Parties: A Less Than Inevitable Normalization?”