What is Ethnicity?

  • Ethnicity–form of identity based on nominal membership in an ascriptive category

  • Relevant categories

    • language
    • religion
    • race
    • gender

What Does Ethnicity Do?

  • Tool for mobilization

    • collective action
    • ‘ethnic pride’
  • Facilitates cooperation & trust

    • information
    • enforcement

Ethnic Conflict

  • Heterogeneity or political exclusion?

    • Exclusion violence
  • Other predictors of conflict

    • Geography (e.g. mountainous terrain)
    • Economics (e.g. inequality, poverty)
    • Political institutions (next class)


-Nationalism—a pride in one’s people and the belief in their own sovereign political destiny that is separate from those of others (O’Neil, p. 69)

-Ethno-nationalism—nationalism in which the sense of sovereign political destiny is defined by belonging to a particular ethnic group

Cold War Alignments

The End of History

  • Trends in the 1990s
    • Democratization
    • Liberalization
  • Predictions
    • All countries adopt similar political culture
    • Democracy restrains aggression

The Clash of Civilizations

Predicted Allignments

Discuss in small groups

Who was Right?
Or Huntington?

Ethnicity and the Economy

  • Public goods provisioning

  • Innovation

  • Discuss referencing Alesina and Ferrara

    • When is ethnicity good for the economy?
    • When does it hinder growth?