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46 Comp. Pol. Stud. 3 (2013)

handle is hein.journals/compls46 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Articles
                                                 Comparative Political Studies
                                                 46(1) 3-30
Religion        and     Coalition                @The Author(s) 2013
                                                  Reprints and permission:
Politics                                         sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav
                                                  DOI: 10. 1177/00I04I40I2453029
                                                  http://cps.sagepub.com
                                                  OSAGE

j6hanna Kristin Birnir' and Nil S. Satana2



Abstract
The  literature holds that coalition-building parties prefer the policy distance
of coalition partners to be as small as possible. In light of continued impor-
tance of religion in electoral politics cross-nationally, the distance argument
is worrisome  for minorities seeking political access because many minorities
are of different religion than the majority representatives forming coalitions.
The  authors  suggest plurality parties' objectives to demonstrate inclusive-
ness outweigh  the concern  over policy distance.They test their hypotheses
on  a sample of all electorally active ethnic minorities in democracies from
1945  to 2004.The  authors find support for their hypothesis that ethnic par-
ties representing minorities that diverge in religious family from the majority
are more  likely to be included in governing coalitions than are ethnic minori-
ties at large. It is interesting, howeverthat they also find that minority parties
representing ethnic groups that differ in denomination from the majority are
less likely to be included in governing coalitions.


Keywords
religion, coalition politics, ethnic minorities


What  is the role of religion in determining ethnic minority access to execu-
tive coalitions in democracies worldwide?   Do majority  politicians eschew
or appeal  strategically to ethnic minorities representing distinct religious

'University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
2Bilkent UniversityAnkara,Turkey

Corresponding Author:
j6hanna Kristin Birnir, Department of Government and Politics, Research Director, CIDCM,
University of Maryland, 0145 Tydings Hall, College Park MD, 20742, USA
Email: jkbirnir@umd.edu

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