Constructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics

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9780199893171: Constructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics

Most research on the effect of ethnicity on economic and political outcomes is driven by the "primordialist" assumption that ethnic identities are fixed. But "constructivist" research across the social sciences and humanities tells us that ethnic identities change over time, and are often a product of the very political and economic phenomena that they are used to explain.

Constructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics is a first cut at rebuilding theories of the relationship between ethnicity, politics and economics on a fortified constructivist foundation. It proposes a new conceptual framework for thinking about ethnic identity. It uses this framework to synthesize constructivist arguments into a set of propositions about how and why ethnic identities change. It translates this framework - and the propositions derived from it -- into a new, combinatorial language. And it employs these conceptual, constructivist, and combinatorial tools to theorize about the relationship between ethnicity, politics and economics using a variety of methods.

The conceptual tools provided here open new avenues for theory building by representing the complexity of a constructivist world in an analytically tractable way. The theoretical arguments challenge the bad name that ethnic diversity has acquired in social scientific literature, according to which it is associated with regimes that are less stable, less democratic, less well-governed, less peaceful and poorer than regimes in which the population is ethnically homogeneous. Taking the possibility of change in ethnic identity into account, this book shows, dismantles the theoretical logics linking ethnic diversity to such negative outcomes. Indeed, ethnic diversity can sometimes serve as a benign force, strengthening rather than threatening democracy, preventing rather than producing violence, and inhibiting rather than accelerating state collapse or secession. Even more importantly, it defines new research agendas by changing the questions we can ask about the relationship between ethnicity, politics and economics.

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About the Author:


Kanchan Chandra is Professor of Politics at New York University.

Review:


"Gathering resourceful and innovative scholars, Kanchan Chandra has steered the creation of rich analytical essays-not least her own!-that confront the often surprising mutability of ethnic identity. This resonant volume advances fundamental scholarship by fusing a constructivist turn with the development of testable, theoretically-grounded, propositions focusing on mechanisms of transformation and their implications for essential human relations."--Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University


"This is an impressively sustained contribution towards a rigorously constructivist theory of politicized ethnicity. Kanchan Chandra and her collaborators develop a lucid analytical language and set of models to illuminate the ways in which ethnic identities change in response to political and economic dynamics."--Rogers Brubaker, Professor of Sociology and UCLA Foundation Chair at the University of California, Los Angeles


"Usually, essential concepts such as 'constructivism,' 'ethnic identity,' or 'state capacity' are understood to be irreducibly fuzzy in definition and idiosyncratic in use. No longer, now that we can read the rigorous and compelling Constructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics. Best of all, Kanchan Chandra provides hope. States can be effective democracies with, or even because of, ethnic heterogeneity if the institutions and practices are appropriately constituted. That is a message of deep importance."--Jennifer Hochschild, Henry LaBarre Jayne Professor of Government and Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University


"Chandra has done the public service of sorting through the loose and multiple ways that the term ethnicity is used, offering her own very rigorous definition and systematic method of operationalizing the concept. She places her bets on a methodologically individualist approach, whereby individuals mix and match identity-related attributes into different identity packages, depending on circumstances and incentives. Some constructivists will disagree with her choices, but few will deny that she has thought of every angle, issue, and objection, pursuing the logic of her own approach and alternatives vastly more carefully that has heretofore been the case in academic usage, let alone public discourse."--Jack Snyder, Belfer Professor of International Relations, Columbia University


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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Most research on the effect of ethnicity on economic and political outcomes is driven by the primordialist assumption that ethnic identities are fixed. But constructivist research across the social sciences and humanities tells us that ethnic identities change over time, and are often a product of the very political and economic phenomena that they are used to explain. Constructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics is a first cut at rebuilding theories of the relationship between ethnicity, politics and economics on a fortified constructivist foundation. It proposes a new conceptual framework for thinking about ethnic identity. It uses this framework to synthesize constructivist arguments into a set of propositions about how and why ethnic identities change. It translates this framework - and the propositions derived from it - into a new, combinatorial language. And it employs these conceptual, constructivist, and combinatorial tools to theorize about the relationship between ethnicity, politics and economics using a variety of methods. The conceptual tools provided here open new avenues for theory building by representing the complexity of a constructivist world in an analytically tractable way. The theoretical arguments challenge the bad name that ethnic diversity has acquired in social scientific literature, according to which it is associated with regimes that are less stable, less democratic, less well-governed, less peaceful and poorer than regimes in which the population is ethnically homogeneous. Taking the possibility of change in ethnic identity into account, this book shows, dismantles the theoretical logics linking ethnic diversity to such negative outcomes. Indeed, ethnic diversity can sometimes serve as a benign force, strengthening rather than threatening democracy, preventing rather than producing violence, and inhibiting rather than accelerating state collapse or secession. Even more importantly, it defines new research agendas by changing the questions we can ask about the relationship between ethnicity, politics and economics. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780199893171

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