17.506 | Spring 2007 | Graduate

Ethnic Politics II


Readings by Session

I. Definitions and measurement
1 Introduction (no readings)
2 Definitions and usage, old and new

James, William. “On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings.” In Theories of Ethnicity: A Classical Reader. Edited by Werner Sollors. New York, NY: New York University Press, 1996, pp. 34-36. ISBN: 9780814780350.

Weber, Max. “Ethnic Groups.” In Theories of Ethnicity: A Classical Reader. Edited by Werner Sollors. New York, NY: New York University Press, 1996, pp. 52-56. ISBN: 9780814780350.

Barth, Fredrik. Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Culture Difference. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 1998 [1969], pp. 5-38. ISBN: 9780881339796.

Please see assignments for the short assignment for this session.

3 Measuring ethnic diversity

We will examine different measures of ethnic diversity, starting with the widely used ethnolinguistic fractionalization (ELF) found in the 1964 Atlas Narodov Mira.

Atlas Narodov Mira. Moscow, Russia: Miklukho-Maklai Ethnological Institute at the Department of Geodesy and Cartography of the State Geological Committee of the Soviet Union, 1964.

Alesina, Alberto, Arnaud Devleeschauwer, William Easterly, Sergio Kurlat, and Romain Wacziarg. “Fractionalization.” Journal of Economic Growth 8 (2003): 155-194.

Posner, Daniel N. “Measuring Ethnic Fractionalization in Africa.” American Journal of Political Science 48, no. 4 (2004): 849-863.

Fearon, James D. “Ethnic Structure and Cultural Diversity by Country.” Journal of Economic Growth 8, no. 2 (2003): 195-222.

II. The Fluidity of identity, and the lack of it
4 Social identity theory and mechanisms of group comparison

Brown, Rupert. “Social Identity Theory: Past Achievements, Current Problems, and Future Challenges.” European Journal of Social Psychology 30, no. 6 (November 2000): 745-778.

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.

Horowitz, Donald. Ethnic Groups in Conflict. 2nd revised ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2000, chapters 1 and 2. ISBN: 9780520227064.

5 Fluidity

Brubaker, Rogers. Ethnicity Without Groups. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004. ISBN: 9780674015395.

General discussion and application of Brubaker’s approach to student projects.

6 Ethnicity, memory, and death

Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. London, UK: Verso, November 16, 2006, selections. ISBN: 9781844670864.

Van Evera, Steve. “Primordialism Lives!” Comparative Politics Section Newsletter (Winter 2001).

Doyle, Michael W., and Nicholas Sambanis. Making War, Building Peace: United Nations Peace Operations. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006, chapter 3, pp. 67-105 (measures and findings on hostility and death). ISBN: 9780691122755.

Snyder, Timothy. “Memory of Sovereignty and Sovereignty Over Memory: Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine, 1939-1999.” In Memory and Power in Post-War Europe: Studies in the Presence of the Past. Edited by Jan-Werner Muller. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 39-58. ISBN: 9780521000703.

Petersen, Roger. “Memory and Cultural Schema: Linking Memory to Political Action.” In Memory and Second World War II: An Ethnographic Approach. Edited by Francesca Cappolletto. Oxford, UK: Berg, 2005. ISBN: 9781845202057.

7 Stigma and prejudice

Sniderman, Paul. The Outsider: Prejudice and Politics in Italy. Reprint ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002. ISBN: 9780691094977. Read entire book. Also, read appendices that list the questions used in the surveys.

III. Processes of identity change
8 The contact hypothesis

Forbes, H. D. Ethnic Conflict: Commerce, Culture, and the Contact Hypothesis. New Haven, NJ: Yale University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780300068191. Read the entire book.

Gibson, James. Overcoming Apartheid: Can Truth Reconcile a Divided Nation? New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation, 2004, pp. 133-150.

9 Cascade models

Somer, Murat. “Cascades of Ethnic Polarization: Lessons from Yugoslavia.” Annals, American Academy of Political and Social Science 573 (January 2001): 127-151.

Laitin, David D. Identity in Formation: The Russian-Speaking Population in the Near Abroad. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998, chapter 1, pp. 3-35. ISBN: 9780801484957.

Kuran, Timur. Private Truths, Public Lies: The Social Consequences of Preference Falsification. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995, pp. 1-44, 137-154, 222-243, and 310-325. ISBN: 9780674707573.

Elster, Jon. “Review of Timur Kuran: Private Truths, Public Lies.” Acta Sociologica 39, no. 1 (1996): 112-115.

10 Identity simulation using PS-I

Lustick, Ian. “Agent-Based Identity Repertoire Model.” Identity modeling program. Downloaded from Lustick’s University of Pennsylvania biography page.

Students should familiarize themselves with the model and bring in ideas and examples for practical application of the model. Students should also read a short summary of the model: Rothfeder, Jeffrey. “Terror Games.” Popular Science 264, no. 3 (March 2004).

11 Student presentations (no readings)

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2007
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments