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Title:Post-Soviet ethnic politics and public goods provision
Author(s):Estes, Kyle W.
Director of Research:Leff, Carol
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Leff, Carol
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Winters, Matthew; Hummel, Sarah; Wong, Cara
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):ethnic politics
distributive politics
Abstract:What explains the pattern of public goods distribution across ethnic groups in the states of the former Soviet Union? In this dissertation, I seek to demonstrate how the unique pattern of nation-state formation in the former Soviet states interacts with other institutional legacies in a manner that differentiates it from other regions. Rather than the logic of “ethnic diversity deficit” applied in most analyses of the theme, I explain post-Soviet public goods provision through a logic of ethnic domination and its relationship to other salient features of sociopolitical organization, including informal social networks and ethnodemographic configurations. The unintended institutionalization of an enduring ethnic titular / non-titular binary combines with the Soviet legacy of informal social networks of access that are endemic throughout the region and structure state-society relations. Thus, I propose that Soviet institutional legacies determine both the supply and demand sides of public goods and service provision: ethnic titular political domination ensures preferential targeting to titular coethnics, while the continued significance of informal networks of access disproportionately allows elite and non-elite titulars to demand state resources successfully. I demonstrate the effects of this relationship in three empirical chapters. Analyzing large-N data from Kyrgyzstan, I show that ethnic Kyrgyz titulars are not only more positive than non-titulars in their evaluations of public goods provision in general, but also that more extensive integration into informal social networks exacerbates this intergroup distributive differentiation. My next chapter presents qualitative data collected during fieldwork in Kyrgyzstan and illustrates the causal mechanisms and grounded understandings of the previous chapter’s findings. The third empirical chapter presents an analysis of large-N data from eight post-Soviet countries in which I explore the extent to which individual coethnicity and coregionality with national leaders is predictive of public goods outcomes. As suggested by much existing research, the findings are dependent on the outcome one studies. Coethnicity and coregionality with national leaders is related to education outcomes in an additive fashion. However, there is no relationship coethnicity or coregionality and first year child survival. I find a more complex interactive relationship between the two explanatory variables and child immunization.
Issue Date:2019-07-08
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Kyle Estes
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-11-26
Date Deposited:2019-08

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