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Kanchan Chandra, "What is an ethnic party?," Party Politics, 17 (March, 2011), 151-169. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol17/issue2/ ]

First paragraph:
What is an ethnic party? Most existing definitions agree, at a minimum, that an ethnic party is one that champions the interests of an ethnic group. This simple answer, however, becomes complicated when we try to classify actual political parties as ethnic, because it is not always clear what an ethnic group is, and how to tell whether a party is representing its interests.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Sample classifications by single indicator
Table 2. Ethnic Multi-ethnic Non-ethnic
Figure 1.
Figure 2.
Table 3. Activated ethnic category Nominal ethnic category
Figure 3.

Last Paragraph:
It is only recently that we have begun to move away from general concepts such as 'ethnic mobilization' to the study of 'ethnic parties' as distinct phenomena (Chandra, 2004; Ferree, forthcoming; Ishiyama and Breuning, 1998; Mozaffar and Scarritt, 2000; Van Cott, 2005). This article takes us further in the direction of conceptual disaggregation. This move, as we can see, takes us from a handful of blunt questions about ethnic 'mobilization' to many narrow, precisely defined, ones not only about ethnic parties but particular aspects of ethnic parties. To the extent that the progress of a field depends on its ability to generate interpretable answers and new and more complex questions, this is a positive development.

Last updated March 2011