Redistributive Political Transitions: Minority Rule and Liberation Wars in Colonial Africa

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Authors Jack Paine
Journal/Conference Name THE JOURNAL OF POLITICS
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Do class divisions and fear of redistribution impede political transitions? This article argues that tensions over economic redistribution in European settler colonies caused resisted enfranchisement and liberation wars in colonial Africa. It offers three main contributions. First, it identifies key scope conditions for redistributive transition models: in African settler colonies, the European elite monopolized the best agricultural land and could only secure their economic advantages by repressing majority ruleā€”also incentivizing liberation wars. Second, it exploits a novel research design to assess redistributive theories. Statistical evidence from Africa during the decolonization era demonstrates that larger European settler population shares covary with smaller franchises and with more frequent colonial liberation wars. To account for the endogeneity of European settlement, the article introduces an instrument that measures climatic and other land suitability factors that affected where Europeans cou...
Date of publication 2019
Code Programming Language R
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