Are Ethnic Minorities a Barrier to Democratization? A Comparative Study of Two Countries

##plugins.themes.bootstrap3.article.main##

Willy Jou Kaori Moriyama

Abstract

     The presence of numerically significant ethnic minorities often presents a challenge to democratization, since political actors in transitional societies may engage in ethnic mobilization in the absence of deeply entrenched political cleavages. The present study compares the views of ethnic majority and minority groups on attitudes toward democracy, civic participation and institutional trust at the individual level. We select the cases of Malaysia and Moldova, two countries rated as ‘partly free’ by Freedom House, contain sizeable minorities, and have a history of violent ethnic clashes, and focus specifically on Chinese- and Russian-speaking minorities. Results of our empirical analysis do not show consistent trends on trust in state institutions and patterns of political participation, but reveal that minorities have a significantly less favourable view of non-democratic regime types. This implies that, rather than identifying the presence of significant minority populations as a hindrance to peaceful transitions, such minorities can play a supportive role in democratization.


Keywords: Ethnic Minority, Democratic Support

References

Almond, G. A., & Verba, S. (1963). The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations. Princeton, New Jersey, USA: Princeton University Press.
Cohen, F. S. (1997). Proportional versus Majoritarian Ethnic Conflict Management in Democracies. Comparative Political Studies, 30(5), 607-630.
Crouch, H. A. (1996). Government and Society in Malaysia. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.
Crowther, W. (1997). The Politics of Democratization in Postcommunist Moldova. In K. Dawisha & B. Parrott (Eds.), Democratic Changes and Authoritarian Reactions in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova (Democratization and Authoritarianism in Post-Communist Societies) (pp. 282-329). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
de Nevers, R. (1993). Democratization and Ethnic Conflict. Survival, 35(2), 31-48.
Diamond, L., & Plattner, M. F. (1994). Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict and Democracy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Easton, D. (1965). A Framework for Political Analysis. Eaglewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
Enloe, C. H. (1980). Ethnic Soldiers: State Security in a Divided Societies. Athens: University of Georgia Press.
Evans, G., & Lipsmeyer, C. S. (2001). The Democratic Experience in Divided Societies: The Baltic States in Comparative Perspective. Journal of Baltic Studies, 32(4), 379-401.
Evans, G., & Whitefield, S. (1995). The Politics and Economics of Democratic Commitment: Support for Democracy in Transition Societies. British Journal of Political Science, 25(4), 485-514.
Hofferbert, R. I., & Klingemann, H-D. (1999). Remembering the Bad Old Days: Human Rights, Economic Conditions, and Democratic Performance in Transitional Regimes. European Journal of Political Research, 36(2), 155-174.
Horowitz, D. L. (1985). Ethnic Groups in Conflict. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Inglehart, R., & Klingemann, H. D. (1979). Ideological Conceptualization and Value Priorities. In S. H. Barnes
& M. Kasse (Eds.), Political Action: Mass Participation in Five Western Democracies (pp. 203-14). Beverly Hills, Calif: Sage.
Juska, A. (1999). Ethno-Political Transformation in the States of the Former USSR. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 22(3), 524-553.
King, C. (2000). The Moldovans: Romania, Russia, and the Politics of Culture. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press.
Lipset, S. M. (1994). The Social Requisites of Democracy Revisited: 1993 Presidential Address. American Sociological Review, 59(1), 1-22.
Lustick, I. (1979). Stability in Deeply Divided Societies: Consociationalism versus Control. World Politics, 31(3), 325-344.
Norris, P. (1999). Introduction: The Growth of Critical Citizens? In P. Norris (Ed.), Critical Citizens: Global Support for Democratic Government. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Posen, B. R. (1993). The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict. Survival, 35(1), 27-47.
Rabushka, A., & Shepsle, K. A. (1972). Politics in Plural Societies: A Theory of Democratic Instability. Columbus, Ohio: Charles E. Merrill Publishing.
Rose, R., Mishler, W., & Haerpfer, C. (1998). Democracy and Its Alternatives: Understanding Post-Communist Societies. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Stepan, A. (1994). When Democracy and the Nation-State are Competing Logics: Reflections on Estonia. European Journal of Sociology, 35(1), 127-141.
Teik, K. B. (1997). Democracy and Authoritarianism in Malaysia since 1957: Class, Ethnicity, and Changing Capitalism. In A. Laothamatas (Ed.), Democratization in Southeast and East Asia (pp. 46-76). Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Section
Research Articles

##plugins.themes.bootstrap3.article.details##

How to Cite
JOU, Willy; MORIYAMA, Kaori. Are Ethnic Minorities a Barrier to Democratization? A Comparative Study of Two Countries. Journal of Community Development Research (Humanities and Social Sciences), [S.l.], v. 12, n. 1, p. 60-70, mar. 2019. ISSN 2539-5521. Available at: <http://www.journal.nu.ac.th/JCDR/article/view/Vol-12-No-1-2019-60-70>. Date accessed: 07 dec. 2019. doi: https://doi.org/10.14456/jcdr-hs.2019.6.