Although there has been much debate about whether democratization causes ethnic conflict, and many comparativists have argued about which kinds of political institutions are best for managing communal strife, little large-N work has addressed these issues. The authors apply a theory of ethnic conflict - the ethnic security dilemma - to derive predictions about the impact of democratization and political institutions on ethnic unrest. They then test these predictions by performing a series of pooled time-series analyses covering all ethnic groups in the Minorities at Risk data set from 1985 to 1998. The authors find that democratization, federalism, and presidentialism may not be as problematic as some argue and that proportional representation tends to reduce severe ethnic violence. They conclude by suggesting some directions for future research.
Comparative Political Studies

Saideman, S.M, Lanoue, D.J. (David J.), Campenni, M. (Michael), & Stanton, S. (Samuel). (2002). Democratization, political institutions, and ethnic conflict: A pooled time-series analysis, 1985-1998. Comparative Political Studies, 35(1), 103–129. doi:10.1177/0010414002035001008