Why Affiliate? Independent Candidates in Emerging Democracies: The Case of Afghanistan since 2001

Omar, Marina, Foreign Affairs - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Waldner, David, Politics, University of Virginia
Echeverri-Gent, John, Politics, University of Virginia
Mershon, Carol, Politics, University of Virginia
Quandt, William B., Politics, University of Virginia
Barnett, Richard, History, University of Virginia

Why do some party leaders participate under their party label while others forego party affiliation? This dissertation uses new micro-level evidence to address the variation in affiliation decisions of party leaders. It advances our understanding of the prevalence of non-party candidates in emerging democracies by addressing, in a unified framework, preference for non-affiliation and capacity to participate in elections without the financial, organizational, and ideological support of political parties. I contend that office seekers will forego party affiliation if: a) their political party is associated with negative legacies of the previous authoritarian regime, and b) they can use more electorally appealing means to gather electoral support. The first condition shapes office seekers’ preference to forego party affiliation, and the second condition determines their capacity to run a campaign without the organizational, financial, and ideological support of a political party. I find that office seekers form multi-ethnic pre-electoral alliances as substitutes to political parties to mobilize electoral support during elections.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Political Parties
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