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Peer-Reviewed Publications

Mor, Maayan. 2022. "Government Policies, New Voter Coalitions, and the Emergence of Ethnic Dimension in Party Systems." World Politics 74(1): 121-66. [Paper][Supplementary Materials]

Conventional theories of ethnic politics argue that political entrepreneurs form ethnic parties where there is ethnic diversity. Yet empirical research finds that diversity is a weak predictor for the success of ethnic parties. When does ethnicity become a major element of party competition? Scholars have explained the emergence of an ethnic dimension in party systems as the result of institutions, mass organizations, and elite initiatives. But these factors can evolve in response to an emerging ethnic coalition of voters. I advance a new theory: ethnic cleavages emerge when voters seek to form a parliamentary opposition to government policies that create grievances along ethnic identities. The theory is tested on rare cases of government policies in Prussia between 1848 and 1874 that aggrieved Catholics but were not based on existing policies or initiated by entrepreneurs to encourage ethnic competition. Using process tracing, case comparisons, and statistical analysis of electoral returns, I show that Catholics voted together when aggrieved by policies, regardless of the actions of political entrepreneurs. In contrast, when policies were neutral to Catholics, the Catholic party dissolved.

Bhavnani, Ravi, Karsten Donnay, Dan Miodownik, Maayan Mor, and Dirk Helbing. 2014. "Group Segregation and Urban Violence." American Journal of Political Science 58(1): 226-45. [Paper][Supplementary Materials]

  • Winner of the AJPS Best Article Award 2014

How does segregation shape intergroup violence in contested urban spaces? Should nominal rivals be kept separate or instead more closely integrated? We develop an empirically grounded agent-based model to understand the sources and patterns of violence in urban areas, employing Jerusalem as a demonstration case and seeding our model with microlevel, geocoded data on settlement patterns. An optimal set of parameters is selected to best fit the observed spatial distribution of violence in the city, with the calibrated model used to assess how different levels of segregation, reflecting various proposed "virtual futures" for Jerusalem, would shape violence. Our results suggest that besides spatial proximity, social distance is key to explaining conflict over urban areas: arrangements conducive to reducing the extent of intergroup interactions—including localized segregation, limits on mobility and migration, partition, and differentiation of political authority—can be expected to dampen violence, although their effect depends decisively on social distance.

Papers in Progress

Mor, Maayan and Carles Boix. "Social Democracy and the Birth of Working-Class Representation in Europe"

(under review) [Paper & Supplementary Materials]

Despite the growing interest in the development of MPs’ social class in Western Europe, the evolution of working-class numerical representation before 1945 has not been systematically studied. Using data from England and Wales (1832-1944), Germany (1871-1932), and Norway (1906-1936), we show both that working-class MPs were elected when barriers were lowered and that almost all working-class parliamentarians were affiliated with socialist parties. We further probe the conditions that determined the electoral success of workers using data about all candidates, constituencies’ occupational profile, and unionization in Norway between 1906-1936. We find that socialist parties nominated workers either in relatively safe elections where unionization was high or in competitive races where the party’s victory was possible but not guaranteed. Using information about MPs in Germany and England and Wales, we find similar patterns. We discuss the implications for research about democratization, the rise of social democracy, and the numerical representation of workers.

Mor, Maayan. "Government Policies, Interest Groups, and the Structure of Party Competition"

Lipset and Rokkan’s seminal work argued that the structure of European party systems was determined by large-scale conflicts and by the temporal sequence of the conflicts. Although Belgium had the social divisions and the political tensions to develop the four cleavages mentioned by Lipset and Rokkan, only two of the structural conditions were translated into political parties and a third conflict was represented by a pressure group that remained extra-parliamentary. This paper uses new data from Belgium to re-examine the formation of the party system in one of Stein Rokkan’s most studied cases. Using new data about constituencies’ occupational and linguistic profile, party appeals, and party vote shares, I trace the formation of the Belgian party system from 1830 to 1910. I find that when social groups could represent their interests using pressure groups, they did not form new parties. I also find that although the ethno-linguistic tensions were not represented by a particular political party, they shaped the social bases of all parties by creating incentives for existing parties to respond to voters and adopt positions on the ethno-linguistic issue. This paper offers an explanation to when large-scale conflicts do not cause the formation of new parties and demonstrates the importance of accounting for intersections between salient electoral issues when explaining the development of European party systems.

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