Publication details

The role of ethnicity in the perception of pork barrel politics : Evidence from a survey experiment in Slovakia


NEMČOK Miroslav KOMAR Olivera BATRIĆEVIĆ Nemanja TÓTH Michal SPÁČ Peter

Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Politics
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords ethnicity; pork barrel; Slovakia; survey experiment; voters
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Description In divided societies and new democracies, clientelism (in the form of pork barrel) and ethno-politics appear to go hand in hand. It is apparent that politicians are incentivized to compete for support within their own ethnic groups, but does an ethnic link between voters and decision-makers influence how voters perceive and evaluate pork barrel practices? To address this question, we conducted a survey experiment (n=1200) in ethnically heterogeneous Slovakia. The aim was to examine whether pork barrel politics implemented by a Slovak decision-maker and a Hungarian decision-maker are evaluated differently by Slovaks and Hungarians. The findings suggest that when individuals and decision-makers share the same ethnicity, individuals tend to maintain an equally positive level of trust and willingness to vote for the responsible decision-maker, even when the decision-maker implements a policy decision that does not benefit them. Nonetheless, shared ethnicity does not prevent individuals from being critical of the implemented policy decision itself.
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