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The Politics of Nation-Building
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Book description

What drives a state's choice to assimilate, accommodate or exclude ethnic groups within its territory? In this innovative work on the international politics of nation-building, Harris Mylonas argues that a state's nation-building policies toward non-core groups - individuals perceived as an ethnic group by the ruling elite of a state - are influenced by both its foreign policy goals and its relations with the external patrons of these groups. Through a detailed study of the Balkans, Mylonas shows that how a state treats a non-core group within its own borders is determined largely by whether the state's foreign policy is revisionist or cleaves to the international status quo, and whether it is allied or in rivalry with that group's external patrons. Mylonas injects international politics into the study of nation-building, building a bridge between international relations and the comparative politics of ethnicity and nationalism.


'Mylonas deftly combines quantitative analysis of cross-national data with an in-depth study of policies toward non-core groups in Greek Macedonia and provides impressive evidence to support his theoretical propositions. Summing up: recommended. Graduate, research, and professional collections.'

A. Paczynska Source: Choice

'Mylonas highlights a hitherto understudied aspect of minority policy making in the Balkans: whether newly nationalizing states tolerated, assimilated, or forcibly removed ethnic minorities from their territories crucially depended on whether or not these minorities were supported by other states and whether these other states were allies or enemies. Combining broad statistical analysis with detailed archival research, the book puts the international aspects of domestic nation-building into sharp relief.'

Andreas Wimmer - Princeton University

'There is much to praise in this book. To begin with, Mylonas is one of those rare scholars who adopt a sophisticated positivist methodology that combines large analysis with a detailed knowledge of (some) historical cases obtained through patient archival research. Second, while much scholarship discusses two policy options (inclusion or exclusion), Mylonas interestingly broadens the analysis to include three policies - assimilation, accommodation and exclusion - producing, respectively, co-nationals, minorities and refugees. And, third, in an age of liberal interventionism Mylonas advances sober and thoughtful recommendations on how the international community may be able to diminish the recurrence of crimes of mass atrocity by intervening less, not more.'

Roberto Belloni Source: Buchbesprechungen

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