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Elena Gadjanova, "Measurung parties' ethnic appeals in democracies" Party Politics, 21 (March 2015),
309-327. [Available at]

First paragraph:

Ethnic identifications remain among the most significant aspects of politics. They are also ubiquitous and shown to matter regardless of countries’ levels of economic development or political sophistication. Understanding how and why ethnicity is politicized is important for a number of other outcomes of interest, such as democratization, public goods provision, economic growth and inter-group relations (Cederman et al., 2010Easterly and Levine, 1997Fearon and Laitin, 2003Reilly, 2001). It has now become common to view identities as socially constructed, often by political entrepreneurs seeking access to power and resources (Brass, 1991Fearon and Laitin, 2000bLaitin, 1998Posner, 2005). Ethno-political appeals – politicians’ urge to electorates to assume the obligations of membership in a certain group and support positions reflective of this membership – are also common in political campaigns.

Figures and Table

Figure1: Steps in deriving measures of ethno-politics in campaign messages
Table 1: Effects of the ethno-politics indices on parties' support for Europe and European integration
Figure 2: A model of parties ethno-political appeal using CMP variables Figure 3: Distribution of party manifestoes on the indices of Ethno-nationalism and Ethno-regionalism
Figure 4: (Mean) Scores on ethno-politics by broader party family within the CMP data
Table 2: Selected parties scoring high on the EP indices by party family
Figure 5: Distribution of scores on the ethno-politics indices by country
Figure 6: (Mean) Scores of Bosnian parties on the ethno-politics indices

Last Paragraph:

A related issue concerns whether the political rhetoric of (ethnic) identity focuses on ascriptive characteristics or on ethnic political practices. Within the literature on the comparative study of ethnicity, the former understanding tends to be privileged. This article suggests that there is certainly need and space for the analyses of practices within the study of ethnic politics, particularly in Western democracies. Moreover, neglecting to take the policies ethnic parties advocate in electoral campaigns runs the risk of leaving analysts unable to anticipate these parties’ post-electoral behaviour and its effects on countries’ political systems. The latter are among the major reasons scholars are interested in the politicization of ethnicity in the first place. This article is thus a call for demystifying ethnicity and its political expressions through a pragmatic policy-centred approach and an urge for taking these policies seriously when devising models of ethnicity’s effects on other outcomes of interest.

Last updated March 2015