190524 - Minorities in Parliaments

Fri, 2019-05-24 12:30 - 14:30


Seminar POPAR (POlicy & PARliament) "Minorities in Parliaments" (PDF, 74 Ko)

Friday 24 May 2019, 12.30 – 2.30 pm, Sciences Po, Room Goguel, 27 rue Saint-Guillaume, 75007 Paris


Discussion of a Research in Progress

Circumstantial Liberals: Czech Germans in Interwar Czechoslovakia

While ethnic minorities may ultimately strive for creating their own state, or joining an ethnic kin state, these options are rarely realistically feasible. In such conditions, Jan Rovny argues, that dominant ethnic minority representatives strive to collaborate with the ethnic majority, and pursue liberal political goals, such as the protection of minority rights and civil liberties, that would ensure the survival and wellbeing of all ethnic groups. This contrasts with much of the literature which sees ethnicity as a source of particularistic, rather than liberal, politics. However, he suggests that when the plausibility of secession or irredentism increases, ethnic representatives abandon their liberal collaborative aims, and rather seek to end their minority status through exit. Jan Rovny studies these mechanisms on the case of the German minority in interwar Czechoslovakia. Using historical analysis and quantitative content analysis of parliamentary speeches between 1920 and 1938, he demonstrates that the political actions of ethnic minority representatives are circumstantial.

Speaker: Jan Rovny, Assistant Professor, Sciences Po, CEE & LIEPP


Discussion of a Book

Juliet Pietsch Race, Ethnicity and the Participation Gap, University of Toronto Press, 2018

Race, Ethnicity, and the Participation Gap begins with the argument that political institutions in settler and culturally diverse societies such as Australia, the United States, and Canada should mirror their culturally diverse populations. Compared to the United States and Canada, however, Australia has very low rates of immigrant and ethnic minority political representation in the Commonwealth Parliament, particularly in the House of Representatives. The overall existence of racial hierarchies within formal political institutions represents an inconsistency with the democratic ideals of representation and accountability in pluralist societies.

By Claire Vincent-Mory, Postdoctoral Researcher, Sciences Po, CEE


Compulsory registration - For the external people to Sciences Po: You will have to arrive 10 minutes before the beginning of the seminar and to provide you with your identity papers)

Contact: olivier.rozenberg@sciencespo.fr