Defining the Intervening and Explanatory Variables

Andrew Reynolds

in Electoral Systems and Democratization in Southern Africa

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198295105
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600128 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Democratization

 Defining the Intervening and Explanatory Variables

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This is the second of four chapters that discusses the theoretical underpinnings of the research on democratization in southern Africa that is described in the book, as well as providing qualitative discussions of democracy in the five country case studies used: Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It first defines the intervening variable of ‘inclusion’, which is described as key to the explanation of how conflicts are best managed within divided societies, and discusses its relationship to the macro-institutional explanatory (independent) variables used in the study. It then defines and describes how to measure each of the explanatory variables used: electoral system type; democratic type (coalitions and grand coalitions – consensual– versus concentrations of executive power; fusion – majoritarian – or separation of executive and legislative powers; unicameralism or bicameralism; type of party system; issues dimensions of partisan conflict; unitary versus federal government; constitutions, minority vetoes, and judicial review); and executive type (presidential or parliamentary). The data obtained for each country are discussed, compared, and summarised in tables.

Keywords: bicameralism; case studies; coalitions; conflict management; consensual systems; constitution; democratic type; democratization; electoral system type; executive power; explanatory variables; federal government; inclusion; independent variables; institutional variables; intervening variable; judicial review; legislative power; majoritarian systems; Malawi; minority vetoes; Namibia; parliamentary systems; partisan conflict; party system; presidential systems; South Africa; southern Africa; unicameralism; unitary government; Zambia; Zimbabwe

Chapter.  10922 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Politics

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