From “bush bureaucracies” to electoral competition: what explains the political success of rebel parties after civil wars?

PAW Network researcher John Ishiyama (University of North Texas), with Michael Widmeier, has published an article:

Ishiyama, J. and Michael Widmeier. 2019. “From “bush bureaucracies” to electoral competition: what explains the political success of rebel parties after civil wars?” Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties.

In this paper, we examine the factors that explain the political success of former rebel parties in electoral competition after the end of civil wars. We develop a theoretical framework derived from the existing literature on the “new” political parties. This literature emphasizes three dimensions that have been cited as affecting party success – (1) the characteristics of the party organization as an “agent”; (2) the “supply” of political support; (3) the “structure of opportunities” or openings provided to political parties by the political environment. In particular, we examine the hypothesis that rebel groups that have developed organized wartime bureaucracies are more likely to succeed politically in the post-war electoral environment. Using a data set that includes 27 countries that experienced a civil war, with a total of 42 rebel groups over the period 1996–2013, we examine whether relatively more bureaucratized groups are more electorally successful than less bureaucratized groups. This study sheds light on the characteristics of rebel groups that are more likely to politically succeed following conflict.

You can access the article here.

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