Ethnic Struggle, Coexistence, and Democratization in Eastern Europe

Ethnic Struggle, Coexistence, and Democratization in Eastern Europe

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In societies divided on ethnic and religious lines, problems of democracy are magnified - particularly where groups are mobilized into parties. With the principle of majority rule, minorities should be less willing to endorse democratic institutions where their parties persistently lose elections. While such problems should also hamper transitions to democracy, several diverse Eastern European states have formed democracies even under these conditions. In this book, Sherrill Stroschein argues that sustained protest and contention by ethnic Hungarians in Romania and Slovakia brought concessions on policies that they could not achieve through the ballot box, in contrast to Transcarpathia, Ukraine. In Romania and Slovakia, contention during the 1990s made each group accustomed to each other's claims and aware of the degree to which each could push its own. Ethnic contention became a de facto deliberative process that fostered a moderation of group stances, allowing democratic consolidation to slowly and organically take root.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 33 b/w illus. 1 map 17 tables
  • 1139418610
  • 9781139418614

Review quote

"Sherrill Stroschein reinvents the study of contentious politics in divided societies by making two original and compelling arguments. One is that the policy concerns of ordinary citizens, rather than the manipulative actions of political leaders, explain why minorities mobilize. The other is that such mobilizations, especially over time, provide needed information to citizens and policy-makers. As a result, they contribute to more positive relations between majorities and minorities while investing in the quality of public policy and democratic life." Valerie Bunce, Cornell University "Ethnic Struggle, Coexistence, and Democratization in Eastern Europe is an innovative and thoughtful analysis of difficult ethnic politics in Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine - and the transformative power of deliberation and minority protest in ameliorating conflict. The systematic attention to the temporal dynamics of contention and moderation makes it an outstanding contribution to the field." Anna Grzymala-Busse, University of Michigan "This meticulously researched study persuasively demonstrates how the routinization of contestation in multi-ethnic polities can contribute to democratic consolidation and lead publics away from (rather than toward) violent confrontation. The book also shows how ethnic and linguistic minorities not represented as groups in national political parties can nonetheless prompt meaningful political change. Stroschein's findings, while firmly grounded in multiple Eastern European contexts, have important implications for democratic theory and the practice of building democratic institutions beyond the region. This book should be of great interest to social scientists and policy practitioners alike." Jessica Pisano, University of Ottawa "Sherrill Stroschein's book is a valuable read for comparative scholars and area experts ... the volume is useful, provoking, and responsibly presented." Richard P. Farkas, DePaul University, Slavic Reviewshow more

Table of contents

1. Ethnic protest, moderation, and democratization; 2. Time, process, and events in democratization; 3. Ethnic contention in context; 4. Local violence and uncertainty in Targu Mures, 1990; 5. The power of symbols: Romanians, Hungarians, and King Mathias in Cluj; 6. Forging language laws: schools and sign wars; 7. Debating local governance: autonomy, local control, and minority enclaves; 8. Implications of group interaction.show more