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Inequality After the TransitionPolitical Parties, Party Systems, and Social Policy in Southern and Postcommunist Europe$
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Ekrem Karakoç

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198826927

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198826927.001.0001

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A Theory of Redistribution in New Democracies

A Theory of Redistribution in New Democracies

(p.22) 2 A Theory of Redistribution in New Democracies
Inequality After the Transition

Ekrem Karakoç

Oxford University Press

This chapter starts with the question of why new democracies have such difficulty generating income equality. It argues that low voter turnout and weak party system institutionalization motivate governments to increase targeted spending toward the nonpoor. The governments, mostly coalitions, are motivated through their social policies to appeal to likely voters, both the loyal and potential electorate. If parties can increase turnout by mobilizing the poor, this will reduce their need to use targeted social policies toward likely voters for electoral purposes. Targeted social spending causes income equality to go up by rewarding privileged social groups to the detriment of the disadvantaged. This chapter will also explain all concepts in greater detail and present empirical evidence on voter turnout by the poor. It thus demonstrates the link between organized interest groups and political parties, and the formulation of social policies and their impact on inequality, in the context of new democracies.

Keywords:   inequality, transition, median voter, party systems, turnout, regime legacy, social spending

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