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Ethnic voting in the Andes: how ethnicity and ethnic attitudes shape presidential vote choice

Kelly, SGW; (2016) Ethnic voting in the Andes: how ethnicity and ethnic attitudes shape presidential vote choice. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The rise of ethnic politics has been a prominent feature of Latin America’s recent history, particularly in the Andes where much of the population claim some indigenous descent. Prominent politicians use ethnicity to frame important aspects of their political projects and identities, survey data show an emerging ethnic voting gap in several countries, and political protests, debates, and media coverage periodically expose strong ethnic undercurrents. Yet existing scholarship has not examined the precise nature or implications of ethnicity’s role in electoral processes, and thus key questions about ethnic politics in Latin America remain unanswered. How and why do voters use ethnic information in their decision-making? What is the impact of ethnic voting on both the quality and terms of democratic representation? And how do wider contextual factors affect the occurrence and nature of ethnic voting? These questions have important implications for assessing how (and how well) elections fulfil their representational and accountability functions, how candidates can and do appeal to different sectors of the electorate, and the wider prospects for democratic stability in the region. This thesis addresses these questions through a comparative study of ethnic politics and electoral democracy in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, with a focus on presidential voting. The research design combines statistical analysis of nationally representative survey data, a computer-based ‘mock election’ experiment, and a range of materials from candidates’ campaign publicity, mainstream and social media, and other sources. By examining the ways in which ethnicity shapes the preferences and electoral decision-making of individual voters, the thesis aims to provide new insight into the underlying processes that drive such political behaviour. Although the empirical focus is on three Latin American countries, the thesis has broader theoretical ambitions, and its analysis builds on, and seeks to contribute to, a wider comparative politics literature.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Ethnic voting in the Andes: how ethnicity and ethnic attitudes shape presidential vote choice
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1493129
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