RESEARCH

WRITING / PUBLISHING / WORK IN PROGRESS

Peer-Reviewed Publications

“Governing Low Profile Issues: A Frame Analysis of Drug Addiction in a Local Setting”, with Ringo Ossewaarde, Sociological Research Online, Vol. 16, Issue 4 (2011)


Book Reviews

“Reconciling Statistics and Interpretation in the Study of National Identity”, Hopf, Ted and Bentley B. Allan (eds.). Making Identity Count: Building a National Identity Database. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016, International Studies Review19(4): 722-724 (November 2017)


“Strategies of Symbolic Nation-Building in South Eastern Europe”, Pål Kolstø (ed.). Farnham: Ashgate, 2014, Political Studies Review14(2): 296 (May 2016)

Working Papers

"Ethnic Diversity and Right-Wing Populism in Europe" (under review)

“How to Measure Ethnic Diversity: Reflection on Cross-National Datasets” (under review)

“Ethnic Parties in the Balkans and the Role of Political Context: A Comparative Analysis”

DISSERTATION RESEARCH

ETHNIC POLITICS IN EUROPE: EFFECTS AND LIMITS OF ETHNIC ACCOMMODATION


My dissertation project tackles a salient political dilemma for many European states today: how can states recognize increasing ethnic heterogeneity within their borders and keep individual citizens tied to the common political project. I focus on collective ethnic rights assessing how they accommodate ethnic identities while curbing ethnic polarization. I aim to make sense of different manifestations of ethnic identity, developing a typology of ethnic groups, taking into account two dimensions: group’s relation to the state (constitutive vs. minority), and its origin at the state territory (historical vs. immigrant). My empirical analysis uses mixed method research design. 


Quantitative Analysis

I have created a new dataset that maps ethnic diversity in 34 European states during the period 1993-2013, using two levels: an ethnic group, and a state. I use hierarchical statistical models to test significance of variables for different institutional options, targeted ethnic empowerment, and characteristics of ethnic groups on ethnic accommodation and ethnic confrontation in the political sphere. I use presence and strength of ethnic parties as proxies for ethnic accommodation, and presence and strength of right-wing populist parties for ethnic confrontation. 

I find that collective ethnic rights help development of ethnic political representation, while generally accommodative institutional design can boost visibility of confrontational populist voices. 

Qualitative Analysis

Following the typology of ethnic groups that I have developed, I analyze four structurally different cases of ethnic diversity and its politicization in contemporary Europe. The selected cases include ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosniaks, Croats, Serbs), North Macedonia (Albanians), Bulgaria (Turks), and Sweden (Iranians). I base my analysis on the extensive fieldwork in these countries (including over one hundred elite interviews), and focus on the political agency of major stakeholders, identifying contentious elements of ethnic empowerment. I connect incentives and limitations built into institutional structure with political and societal actors that frame political issues tied to ethnic empowerment.

I conclude that political actors use incentives from political structures, including the use of ethnically divisive discourse if they see benefits in doing so. Actors outside of the political realm detect these tendencies, but they usually do not have enough prominence and strength to seriously oppose them. 

My research tackles a salient political issue for many European states today, which are struggling to recognize increasing ethnic heterogeneity within their borders while keeping individual citizens tied to the common political project. I argue that making ethnic identity politically salient, whether through ethnic quotas, ethnic decentralization, or policies of cultural accommodation, should go in parallel with reinforcement of shared elements of political identity with which all citizens can identify. The current treatment of ethnic accommodation in Europe disregards the fact that states have to reconcile political recognition of ethnic diversity with the promotion of a shared political identity.  

My research addresses historical and immigrant diversity, and looks at Europe as a whole, bridging the divide between Eastern and Western parts of the continent as they confront increasingly similar challenges in this domain. My work contributes to a larger debate on whether and how to recognize ethnic identity in a democratic context. On the policy level, it proposes how to support collective distinctiveness, achieving ethnic accommodation, while curbing confrontational attitudes towards it.