This paper presents novel approach about ethnic polarization in a country and extends its relevance beyond social conflict and civil wars to subjective well-being (SWB) and relational capabilities construct.
We test the hypothesis whether the individual sense of exclusion (disenfranchisement and discrimination) as a result of lack of social cohesion is a close correlate of how polarized a country is rather than of how fractionalized the same country is. Our results point to ethnic divisions influencing exclusion – polarization to a larger extent than fractionalization. Our results also suggest that exclusion is a significant determinant of the individual’s SWB; and also how engaged the individual is in the public sphere of their existence as measured by the civic commitment dimension of Relational Capabilities Index (RCI).
We use Latinobarometro for the years 2001 and 2009 – a representative opin- ions survey of some 18 Latin American countries.
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