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Research and Publications Supported by the Research Circle
"Asymmetric Devolution and Ethnoregionalism in Spain: Mass Preferences and the Microfoundations of Stability"
Authored by Steven L. Burg, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics and Lachen T. Chernyha '07 M.A. '08; published in the August 2013 issue of Nationalism and Ethnic Politics. Work funded, in part, by the Research Circle on Democracy and Cultural Pluralism, Department of Politics, Brandeis University.
Abstract: This article examines the impact of asymmetrical devolution on mass preferences for devolution and voting behavior in the regions of Spain. Rather than mitigating demands for greater devolution, asymmetry encourages the escalation of such demands in both the ethnically distinct and the majority-dominated regions. Preferences for symmetry and perceptions of inequality that result from asymmetry are transformed into pressures for further devolution via the electoral mechanism. These findings suggest asymmetrical devolution may be an unstable solution for managing ethnoregionalism, and that Stepan, Linz, and Yadov's strong endorsement of asymmetrical federalism as a tool for the management of ethnoregionalism in democracies should be qualified.
"Accounting for the Effects of Identity on Political Behavior: Descent, Strength of Attachment, and Preferences in the Regions of Spain."
Authored by Lachen T. Chernyha '07, M.A. '08, and Steven L. Burg, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics; published in the June 2012 issue of Comparative Political Studies. An earlier version of this research was presented at the the annual conference of The New England Political Science Association, Newport, RI (April 23, 2010). Work funded, in part, by the Research Circle on Democracy and Cultural Pluralism, Department of Politics, Brandeis University.
Abstract: This article examines the determinants of identification within the autonomous communities (ACs) of Spain and explores whether “activated identities” guide behavior. The authors test this hypothesized effect empirically and demonstrate that regional and especially (non-Spanish) national activated identity affect preferences for exclusionary policies and for greater autonomy or independence for the AC. Both preferences and activated identities increase the likelihood of voting for regional, rather than statewide, political parties. The authors argue that the strength of attachment to identity (i.e., to the AC to or Spain) and the effect of identities on preferences constitute the mechanisms that link identity to behaviors. Thus, the authors contribute to, and help to clarify, both the theoretical and empirical literatures focused on the relationship between identity and behaviors.
"Devolution and Democracy: Identity, Preferences, and Voting in the Spanish 'State of Autonomies'”
Authored by Lachen T. Chernyha ’07, M.A. ’08, and Steven L. Burg, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics; presented at the conference on “Rethinking Ethnicity and Ethnic Strife: Multidisciplinary Perspectives” Central European University/Cornell University/University of Michigan, Budapest, September 25-27, 2008.