This research project investigates the impact of ethnic group identity on political competition in stable democratic societies. It seeks to uncover the role that ethnic group identity plays in the formation of political preferences and behavior, both on the level of individuals, as well as on the level of their political representatives in stable, democratic contexts. It thus studies ethnic minorities across Europe, focusing on their individual preferences, their voting patterns, as well as the orientations of political parties that represent ethnic minorities, and the roles they play within domestic party systems.
I suggest that ethnic minority groups behave contextually. Depending on the circumstances, ethnic minorities and their political representatives may work either towards building a multicultural liberal political order, or they may seek to dismantle it. The key to determining the political preferences and aims of ethnic groups and their representatives lies in the characteristics of the group and its relationship to political authority, which usually lies in the hands of the majority.
This project proceeds from my work on eastern European party competition: