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Divisive Politics and Accountability

Áron Kiss

No 1115, CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS from Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies

Abstract: The paper analyzes a political accountability game with an electorate of 'partisan' and 'independent' voters. It is shown that politicians have a strategic incentive to engage in 'divisive politics', that is, to force some independent voters to take sides, even if the direct electoral benefits are higher for their opponents than for themselves. By polarizing the electorate, the incumbent politician weakens the ability of independent voters to make him accountable for his policies in the common interest. Moreover, the interests of the incumbent and the opposition are aligned: the opposition also benefits from divisive politics because, in equilibrium, its election probability increases.

Keywords: political accountability; political agency; divisive politics; democracy in divided societies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 21 pages
Date: 2011-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

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Journal Article: Divisive politics and accountability (2012) Downloads
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