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Bound by Brand: Opposition Party Support under Electoral Authoritarianism.

dc.contributor.authorRobbins, Michael D.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2012-10-12T15:24:48Z
dc.date.availableNO_RESTRICTIONen_US
dc.date.available2012-10-12T15:24:48Z
dc.date.issued2012en_US
dc.date.submitted2012en_US
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/93906
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation seeks to answer the question: what accounts for differing levels of support for Islamist parties in the Arab world? In answering this question, I examine five primary case studies: Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, and Yemen. The principal argument of my dissertation is that two contextual factors—the nature of the political spectrum, meaning the prominence of certain types of political issues, and the prevalence and structure of traditional identities—account for the differences in the success of Islamist parties across space and time in the Arab world. More specifically, my dissertation argues that within low information societies that like those found under conditions electoral authoritarianism, ordinary citizens lack significant information about political parties. Non-regime parties are greatly restricted in their outreach and mobilization efforts, forcing citizens to rely on brand names to evaluate political parties. Although parties can seek to alter their brand name, within these environments it is likely that their brand name will endure. Given the cost of obtaining additional information, the majority of citizens will choose based on this limited information, meaning that levels of popular support for Islamist parties depends to a significant degree on the strengths and weaknesses of this brand. I argue the Islamist brand, as popularly understood, has a critical limitation for political competition: it lacks a clear association with solutions to modern economic problems such as unemployment or inflation. This micro-level mechanism has important implications for political competition at the macro-level based on the principles of supply and demand for economic solutions. In cases where the political arena is dominated by economic concerns, Islamist parties are unlikely to have significant success, especially when alternative political actors offer clear economic platforms. By contrast, in cases where economic issues are less central, there is a greater probability that Islamist party support will be higher. Empirical results based on public opinion data from the Arab Barometer offer strong support for this theory, showing the differences in the levels of support for Islamist parties under electoral authoritarianism are largely dependent upon the political contexts in which they exist.en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.subjectPolitical Islamen_US
dc.subjectPublic Opinionen_US
dc.subjectPolitical Partiesen_US
dc.subjectAuthoritarianismen_US
dc.subjectMiddle Easten_US
dc.subjectNorth Africaen_US
dc.titleBound by Brand: Opposition Party Support under Electoral Authoritarianism.en_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.description.thesisdegreenamePHDen_US
dc.description.thesisdegreedisciplinePolitical Scienceen_US
dc.description.thesisdegreegrantorUniversity of Michigan, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studiesen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGrzymala-Busse, Annaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberTessler, Mark A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberJackson, Sherman A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKollman, Kenneth W.en_US
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevelPolitical Scienceen_US
dc.subject.hlbtoplevelSocial Sciencesen_US
dc.description.bitstreamurlhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/93906/1/robbinmd_1.pdf
dc.owningcollnameDissertations and Theses (Ph.D. and Master's)


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