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Electoral mobilization and voter turnout in post-authoritarian countries: the case of parliamentary elections in Iraq (2005-2018)

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Title
Electoral mobilization and voter turnout in post-authoritarian countries: the case of parliamentary elections in Iraq (2005-2018)
Name (type = personal)
NamePart (type = family)
Alkateshi
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Abbas Fadhil Mahmood
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1977-
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Abbas Fadhil Mahmood Alkateshi
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author
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Davis
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Eric M
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Eric M Davis
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Advisory Committee
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chair
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Lau
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Richard
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Richard Lau
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Kelemen
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Danial
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Danial Kelemen
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Sasson
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Joseph
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Joseph Sasson
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Advisory Committee
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outside member
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Rutgers University
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degree grantor
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School of Graduate Studies
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school
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Text
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theses
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2019
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2019-10
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2019
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English
Abstract (type = abstract)
This study investigates the relationship between voter mobilization and turnout in post-authoritarian countries by tackling the puzzle that addresses the causes and consequences of the decline in voter turnout in the Iraqi parliamentary elections since the first founding national elections in October 2005. It attempts to address the question of why voter turnout has declined dramatically from 76.6% in the elections of 2005 to 44.5% in the national elections of 2018 in Iraq. After 13 years of regime changes and four national elections cycles, voter turnout fell by 35.1 percentage points. This identifies two possible causal mechanisms behind this declining trend: first, the influential role of the formal institutions such as the role of electoral law, party system and second, the structure and performance of the elections administration. We argue that the decline of public trust in these formal institutions affects to great extent the level of voter turnout. The second causal mechanism is the impact of informal institutions on voter turnout. In this regard, we argue that the role of religious leaders, ethnicity, religion and electoral violence in mobilizing Iraqi votes can be considered responsible for the dramatic decline in voter turnout in the elections of 2018.
In terms of formal institutions, the purpose of the current study is to investigate the effects of the electoral system, elections management body and political parties on voter turnout. It argues that the high turnout in the first three elections (79.6%, 62.39%, and 61.76%) respectively was because of high mobilization efforts of religious leaders and the impact of electoral violence. It is also caused by intensified polarization around sectarian and ethnic identity. While these efforts have contributed to increasing the turnout in the early three elections, it is also a major contributory factor in dropping the voter turnout to (44.5%) in the fourth national elections in May 2018.
The individual data that we use in this dissertation are drawn from merging four public opinion surveys. These surveys are the second wave of Arab barometer (2010-2011), the third wave of Arab barometer (2012-2104), the World Value Survey on Iraq (2013), and the Arab Transformations Project (2014). The total number of individual observations that have been randomly distributed among Iraqi provinces was about 5281. In terms of the qualitative data, this study systematically reviewed the laws and procedures as well as the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) executive orders regarding the electoral law, party system and electoral administration. To test our hypotheses, we employed binary logistic regression to estimate the effects of explanatory variables on voter turnout.
An implication of this is the possibility that Iraq is heading toward a new era of a competitive authoritarian regime in which the main objective of holding elections is not to change the institutions peacefully but to maintain the status quo of post-American invasion and occupation political order.
It is recommended that further in-depth experimental research be undertaken in the following areas: vote-buying and clientelism, voting behavior and individual and group mobilization, the rise of competitive authoritarianism, socioeconomic factors and voting patterns, institutional forbearance and distributive politics, elections integrity and last but not least voting behavior and the future of democratic transition in Iraq. The findings should make an important contribution to the field of voting behavior and political behavior in post-authoritarian countries in general and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Political Science
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Voter turnout -- Iraq -- 21st century
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Voter registration -- Iraq -- 21st century
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Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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ETD_10203
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1 online resource (x, 294 pages) : illustrations
Note (type = degree)
Ph.D.
Note (type = bibliography)
Includes bibliographical references
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School of Graduate Studies Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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rucore10001600001
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NjNbRU
Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/t3-mmzr-fw97
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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The author owns the copyright to this work.
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Name
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ALKATESHI
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ABBAS
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Permission or license
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2019-08-30 16:52:48
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ABBAS ALKATESHI
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Affiliation
Rutgers University. School of Graduate Studies
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I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
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