Date of Award

6-9-2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Jennifer L. McCoy - Chair

Second Advisor

Michael Herb

Third Advisor

Carrie Manning

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between ethnic conflict, electoral systems, and power sharing in ethnically divided societies. The cases of Guyana, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Mauritius, and Trinidad and Tobago are considered. Electoral systems are denoted based on presidential versus parliamentary system, and on proportional representation versus majoritarian/plurality. The paper concludes that, while electoral systems are important, other factors like the power distribution between ethnic groups, and ensuring a non-zero-sum game may be as important.

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