Conference: ECPR Joint Sessions 2018 University of Nicosia 10-14 April 2018
Title: Playing Field Sets on Fire: Do Democratic Institutions Dilute Violence in Strategies of Secessionist Movements?
Authors: Faruk Aksoy and Melike Ayşe Kocacık Şenol
Do the level of distinct components of democracy in a country alter the probability of secessionist movements to prefer more violent strategies? Despite the complex conceptual nature of democracy, the literature on secessionist movements applies sketchy measures to analyze and control the effect of democracy on emergence and survival strategies of secessionist movements. Using such vague measures of democracy, prompt scholars to overlook how the hybrid regimes affect strategies of secessionist movements. By measuring the level of various features of democracy, such as free and fair elections, freedom of expression, horizontal accountability, we seek to ascertain the effect of democracy with a special focus on delegative democracy and competitive authoritarianism, in which some components of democracy do not well function. Along with differentiating the regime types, we introduce civil war, violent and non-violent protests as the viable strategies by secessionist movements. We conduct a cross-country time-series multinomial logistic regression analysis with merging various datasets (NAVCO 3.0, UCDP-PRIO and V-Dem) and taking into consideration the possible endogeneity problem. We expect that secessionist movements prefer more violent strategies in countries where some components of democracy are not at the sufficient level. When these movements do not have credible chance to use means of conventional politics, violent strategies become more preferable for them.