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Power and Persistence: The Indigenous Roots of Representative Democracy

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  • Jeanet Sinding Bentzen
  • Jacob Gerner Hariri
  • James A Robinson

Abstract

This article documents that indigenous democratic practices are associated with contemporary representative democracy. The basic association is conditioned on the relative strength of the indigenous groups within a country; stronger groups were able to shape national regime trajectories, weaker groups were not. Our analyses suggest that institutions are more likely to persist if they are supported by powerful actors and less likely to persist if the existing power structure is disrupted by, e.g. colonisation. Our findings contribute to a growing literature on institutional persistence and change.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeanet Sinding Bentzen & Jacob Gerner Hariri & James A Robinson, 2019. "Power and Persistence: The Indigenous Roots of Representative Democracy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(618), pages 678-714.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:econjl:v:129:y:2019:i:618:p:678-714.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecoj.12568
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