Abstract

Freedom House president Adrian Karatynycky has claimed in the Journal of Democracy that "democracy has been significantly more successful in monoethnic societies than in ethnically divided and multiethnic societies." Is this often-heard claim true? Does heterogeneity promote conflict and harm democratization? Our cross-national analysis finds scant evidence for this notion. Since the obverse of this argumentÑi.e., that social diversity portends disastrous confict and therefore calls for authoritarian politicsÑis a favorite rationale put forward by undemocratic leaders in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere, we suggest that students and friends of democracy should treat the alleged link between diversity and division with skepticism.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3214
Print ISSN
1045-5736
Pages
pp. 154-166
Launched on MUSE
2004-01-22
Open Access
No
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