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Title: A nudge too far? : the effects of democracy aid on democratization and political instability
Author: Ziaja, Sebastian
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 2350
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis examines the relationship between democracy aid, democratization and political instability. Using disaggregated cross-country aid data supported by anecdotal evidence from Ghana, the first chapter finds that the presence of more donors promoting democracy aid has a positive impact on democratization. This is due to the increased diversity of political positions offered to a multitude of local state and non-state partners. The finding contradicts the conventional wisdom that aid fragmentation is entirely harmful. It is in line with current research on the importance of competition in young democracies. The second chapter examines (potentially unintended) effects of democracy aid on symptoms of political instability, employing data on social conflict in Africa. It shows that democracy aid is related to the occurrence of demonstrations and violent unrest. This suggests that democracy aid supports popular participation in recipient countries, although sometimes with undesired, violent side effects. Extensive specification tests confirm this relationship. They also cast doubt on previous findings on mitigating effects of democracy aid on civil war onset. The third chapter models the impact of different types of democratic transitions on state fragility. Using three separate expert-coded indicators, I find evidence that incomplete and uneven democratizations are related to decreasing levels in the monopoly of violence. This finding contributes to the debate on democratization and war, supporting the notion that destabilizing effects are robust but limited. There is little evidence on a robust relationship between democracy aid and administrative capacity of or popular identification with the state. I conclude that democracy aid can be beneficial, but only when it is sufficiently diverse. Given the advantages of democracy for development in general, the rather limited potential for destabilization should not be used as an argument to delay the spread of democracy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available