17.504 | Fall 2003 | Graduate

Ethnic Politics I


Lec # Topics readings





General Discussion of Issues of Ethnic Identity

Barth, Frederik, ed. Ethnic Groups and Boundaries. Chicago, IL: Waveland Press, 1998, pp. 5-38. ISBN: 9780881339796.

Maalouf, Amin. In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2003. ISBN: 9780142002575.

Section I: General Theory


Primordialist Approaches

Geertz, Clifford. “The Integrative Revolution: Primordial Sentiments and Civil Politics in the New States.” In The Interpretation of Cultures. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2000, pp. 255-311. ISBN: 9780465097197.

Smith, Anthony. The Nation in History, Historiographical Debates About Ethnicity and Nationalism. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2000, pp. 52-77. ISBN: 9781584650409.

Van Evera, Steve. “Primordialism Lives!” Comparative Politics Section Newsletter 12, no. 1 (Winter 2001): 20-22.

van der Dennen, John M. G. “Ethnocentrism and In-group/Out-group Differentiation: A Review and Interpretation of the Literature.” In The Sociobiology of Ethnocentrism: Evolutionary Dimensions of Xenophobia . Edited by Vernon Reynolds, Vincent Fagler, and Ian Vine. New York, NY: Springe, 1986, pp. 1-47. ISBN: 9780709942221.


Constructivist Approaches I

Bhabha, Homi, ed. “Dissemination: Time, Narrative and the Margins of the Modern Nation.” In Nation and Narration. London, UK: Routledge, 1990, pp. 291-322. ISBN: 9780415014830.

Chandra, Kanchan, ed. “Cumulative Findings in the Study of Ethnic Politics.” Symposium in APSA-CP (Winter 2001). Essays by Chandra, Laitin, and Posner, Lijphart, Lustick, and Wilkinson.

Malkki, Liisa. Purity and Exile: Violence, Memory, and National Cosmology among Hutu Refugees in Tanzania. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780226502724.

Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. London, UK: Verso, 1983. ISBN: 0860917592. (Entire)


Constructivist Approaches II

Laitin, David. Hegemony and Culture. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1983, 1986. ISBN: 9780226467900.

Section II: Variables Driving Identity Construction



Gellner, Ernest. Nations and Nationalism. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1983. ISBN: 9780801492631. (Entire)

Taylor, Charles. “Nationalism and Modernity.” In The State of the Nation: Ernest Gellner and the Theory of Nationalism. Edited by John A. Hall. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998. ISBN: 9780521633666.



Brass, Paul. Theft of an Idol. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997, pp. 3-96. ISBN: 9780691026503.

Gagnon, V.P. “Ethnic Nationalism and International Conflict: The Case of Serbia.” International Security 19 (Winter 1995): 130-166.

Review Laitin.



Bates, Robert. “Ethnic Competition and Modernization in Contemporary Africa.” Comparative Political Studies (January 1974): 457-483.


Prejudice and Stigma

Sidanius, James. “The Psychology of Group Conflict and the Dynamics of Oppression: A Social Dominance Perspective.” In Explorations in Political Psychology. Edited by Shanto Iyengar and William McGuire. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1993. ISBN: 9780822313243.

Sniderman, Paul, Pierangelo Peri, Rui J.P. de Figueiredo, Jr., and Thomas Piazza. The Outsider: Prejudice and Politics in Italy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780691048390.

Section III: Ethnic Group Mobilization as an Independent Variable


Party Politics and Consociationalism

Ordeshook, Peter, and Olga Shvetsova. “Ethnic Heterogeneity, District Magnitude, and the Number of Parties.” American Journal of Political Science 38, no. 1 (February 1994): 100-123.

Tsebelis, George. “A Rational Choice Approach to Consociationalism.” In Nested Games: Rational Choice in Comparative Politics. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1992, pp. 159-186. ISBN: 9780520067325.

Barry, Brian. “Review Article: Political Accommodation and Consociational Democracy.” British Journal of Political Science 5 (October 1975): 477-505.

Brass, Paul. “Ethnic Conflict in Multiethnic Societies: The Consociational Solution and its Critics.” In Ethnicity and Nationalism: Theory and Comparison. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1991, pp. 333-348. ISBN: 9780803996953.


Democracy and Democratic Consolidation

Horowitz, Donald. A Democratic South Africa? Constitutional Engineering in a Divided Society. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991. ISBN: 9780520073425.

Bardos, Gordon. “The Bosnian Cold War: Politics, Society, and International Engagement after Dayton.” The Harriman Review 11 (1999): 1-26.

Rabushka, Alvin, and Kenneth Shepsle. Politics in Plural Societies. Columbus, OH: Charles E Merrill, 1972, pp. 23-105. ISBN: 9780675091145.


Ethnic Mobilization and Civil War

Posen, Barry. “The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict.” In Ethnic Conflict and International Security. Edited by Michael Brown. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993, pp. 103-124. ISBN: 9780691000688.

Kaufman, Stuart. Modern Hatreds: The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001, pp. 1-47, and 165-201. ISBN: 9780801487361.

Hardin, Russell. One for All: The Logic of Group Conflict. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997, pp. 142-182. ISBN: 9780691048253.

Somer, Murat. “Cascades of Ethnic Polarization: Lessons from Yugoslavia. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 573, no. 1 (2001): 127-151.


Ethnic Riots

Horowitz, Donald. The Deadly Ethnic Riot. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2001, pp. 1-70. ISBN: 9780520224476.

Rudwick, Elliot. Race Riot in East Saint Louis, July 2, 1917. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1982, pp. 3-57. ISBN: 9780252009518.

Varshney, Ashutosh. Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002. ISBN: 9780300085303.


Partition and Secession

Hayden, Robert. “Schindler’s Fate: Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing, and Population Transfers.” Slavic Review 55 (1996): 727-748.

Kauffman, Chaim. “Possible and Impossible Solutions to Ethnic Civil Wars.” International Security 20 (1996): 136-175.

Sambanis, Nicholas. “Partition as a Solution to Ethnic War: An Empirical Critique of the Theoretical Literature.” World Politics 52 (July 2000): 437-83.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2003