Explaining ethnopolitical mobilization : ethnic incorporation and mobilization patterns in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Turkey, and beyond
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Why do some ethnic groups mobilize in violent ways whereas some others mobilize by using peaceful methods? And why do some ethnic groups seek integration while some others pursue separatist goals? This dissertation proposes a theoretical framework to answer these questions. It suggests that a state’s ethnic incorporation policies shape both why (centripetal or centrifugal aims) and how (peaceful or violent methods) ethnic groups mobilize. It argues that (1) consocitionalism recognizes ethnic groups and grants a degree of political autonomy to them, yet limits individuals’ political participation via non-ethnic channels of political participation; and, therefore, it leads to peaceful and moderately centrifugal ethnic mobilizations; (2) liberal multiculturalism recognizes ethnic groups, grants a degree of political autonomy to them, and allows individuals to participate in politics via non-ethnic channels; and, therefore, it leads to peaceful and moderately centripetal mobilizations; (3) civic assimilationism neither recognizes ethnic groups nor grants a degree of political autonomy to them, yet allows individuals to participate in politics via non-ethnic channels; and therefore it leads to peaceful and centripetal mobilizations of groups which lack pre-existing ethnic mobilization; but it leads to moderately violent and centrifugal mobilizations of groups which have strong pre-existing ethnic mobilizations; and (4) ethnocracies neither recognize ethnic groups nor grant a degree of political autonomy to them, and they also limit individuals’ political participation via non-ethnic channels. Therefore, they lead to centrifugal and violent ethnic mobilizations. The dissertation uses a mixed method research design. The hypotheses are tested based on the Minorities at Risk data as well as the case studies of ethnic Turks in Bulgaria and Cyprus, and Kurds and the Roma in Turkey. The case studies benefit from an extensive field research in Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Turkey using original interviews with former and current guerillas, guerilla families, political activists, and politicians from each ethnic group under scrutiny and archival research on newspapers and legal documents. The findings indicate that politics of ethnic accommodation are not only an explanation for the causes of different ethnic mobilization patterns, but also a feasible remedy for ethnic disputes spanning all over the world.