The roots of political division


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15 October 2019


Doctoral defense

The roots of political division

Maayan Mor recently successfully defended her doctoral dissertation “Rethinking the Origins of Electoral Cleavages: How States Create Cleavages Through Policies” (Department of Political Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison). She investigated the causes of electoral divisions in Western Europe, in particular in Belgium, Prussia, Bavaria and Baden. Her research devotes the emergence of electoral cleavages to the reactions of voters and political entrepreneurs to government policies. The way in which the government makes choices in the distribution of resources and controls access to social mobility, politicizes social identities when they divide society into winners and losers based on the same identities. With this, Mor rejects the current theories that are more likely to find the cause of electoral cleavages in major events, called “critical junctures”.

Maayan Mor based her research on Belgium largely on data about municipal elections, spoken languages and population characteristics (1900-1970) from LOKSTAT.