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Dominant Ethnicity From Background to Foreground Eric Kaufmann Birkbeck College, University of London.

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Presentation on theme: "Dominant Ethnicity From Background to Foreground Eric Kaufmann Birkbeck College, University of London."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dominant Ethnicity From Background to Foreground Eric Kaufmann Birkbeck College, University of London

2 Omission in Current Literature Nation and dominant ethnie conflated in popular mind and in the scholarly literature (i.e. French in France; Japanese in Japan) Parochialism (ethnic as 'other' in US literature) nationalism, citizenship, migration, ethnic studies, political theory equate ethnic = minority Dominant group is not background, but an active sub-national player

3 Dominant Ethnicity Kymlicka's notion of ethnicity typical Ethnic group (primary/secondary) vs nation Schermerhorn 'dominant majority', 'dominant minority' Smith 'core ethnie' 'dominant ethnie.' Other terms: 'staatsvolk', 'host society', 'charter group', 'herrenvolk democracy', etc.

4 Dominant Ethnicity Dominant Ethnie remains within nation, though often elided by dominant group members Not reducible to 'ethno-nationalism' Straddle pre-modern period and modern era of nations

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7 Varieties of Dominant Ethnicity Majorities or minorities Dominance of state or sub-state nation Economic, Political, Cultural, Demographic Indigenousness (Smith; Horowitz) and power (Schermerhorn, Doane) S. Caribbean cases demonstrate

8 The Emergence of Dominant Ethnicity West: Norms of Cultural liberalism/ Universal personhood Rise of Far Right Developing Countries: Collapse of post-colonial and Cold War states; Norms of self-determination; Democratisation Rise of Ethnic Party Systems (i.e. Africa)

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11 The Shadowy Nature of Dominant Ethnicity Must look not only at state or national elites, but at the often informal structures of dominant ethnicity Dual national-ethnic functions of many elites (I.e. Ghana, Singapore, US, Ireland) Expansive strategies (power over particularity) Restrictive strategies (authenticity over power)

12 Dominant Ethnicity in Theoretical Context Resurgence and decline in post- modernity Role of diaspora (i.e. India; Croatia; Israel) Dominant ideologies do not determine dominant ethnicity

13 Empirical Questions Political questions: how does group maintain power and economic advantage? Cultural questions: national-ethnic identities; struggle over symbolic/narrative dominance; demographic policy

14 Normative Questions Dominant ethnicity necessary for stable power sharing systems? (O' Leary 2001) Is the ethnicity of a dominant group worth consideration/preservation? Can we have a liberal form of dominant ethnicity? (i.e. a liberal 'national ethnicity')

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