Summer Timetable

POL321Y1F L0101

Ethnic Politics in Comparative Perspective


This course considers the sources of ethnic politics and reflects on why some attempts to manage ethnic differences succeed while others fail. We begin by analyzing ethnicity and nationhood conceptually and go on to explore why and how liberal-democratic states’ approaches toward the management of ethnic and national differences changed after the Second World War. We then examine multiculturalism, probing its theoretical foundations, practical manifestations, and limits. The second half of the course examines diasporas and transnationalism; citizenship in a world on the move; indigenous people’s politics; language politics; sub-state nationalism; federalism and consociationalism; secession; ethnic cleansing; and genocide. Cases span a broad range of geographic regions and historical periods.


A variety of readings, many of which will be made available electronically. One or more course textbooks may be assigned and required for purchase.

Format and Requirements

Four two-hour lectures per week. Final grade will be based on attendance, research essay proposal, mid-term test, research essay, and a final test.


1.0 POL credit