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Politics Over Ethnicity: Revisiting the Ethnic Diversity and Public Goods Provision Hypothesis

Friday May 16, 2014, at 9:30
Conference Room - IBEI Ground Floor

A large and influential body of work in political economy argues that ethnic diversity impedes public goods provision.This workshoppursues a critical reassessment of the ethnic diversity and public goods provision scholarship. It seeks to do this most directly by revisiting and nuancing the empirical claim itself. Further a shift to solidly political conceptualizations of both ethnicity and public goods provision is proposed, by focusing on ethnic mobilization and a state’s capacity to provide social services and more generally to reach through society and implement policy decisions. Substantively the workshop seeks to move away from the predominant emphasis on the actions of ethnic groups to a focus on how states respond to these ethnic actions. The contributing papers argue that the strategic interests, affective attachments and normative commitments of state actors influence how states respond to ethnic mobilization>, and may therefore be usefully seen as causal pathways through which ethnic mobilization influences state capacity. This analytical shift also suggests a long-run historical focus on how patterns of state formation influence ethnic mobilization and state responses to it. Specifically, close attention to the legacies of nation-building and preexisting levels of state capacity helps to address the endogeneity problems that prevail in the existing political economy scholarship.

By invitation only, please contact Matthias vom Hau (mvomhau@ibei.org) if you would like to attend (parts of) the workshop 

Politics over Ethnicity Programme

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