Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Ethnopolitics in the New Europe

John T. Ishiyama and Marijke Breuning
ISBN: 978-1-55587-610-4
1998/206 pages/LC: 97-48665

"A very strong comparative study of ethnicised partisan opposition in contemporary Europe."—Alex Papadopoulos, National Identities

"This highly original book provides a fascinating insight into the role of ethnopolitical parties and their leaders in shaping ethnic conflict and is a must for all those interested in political parties and ethnopolitics."—Cas Mudde, The Sage


What makes some multiethnic states integrate and others descend into civil war? Ishiyama and Breuning extend traditional explanations centered on socioeconomic, cultural, and historical factors to argue that the actions of leaders of ethnic segments—too often ignored—are also critical determinants of policy outcomes.

Applying a framework derived from comparative politics and IR theory, the authors explore two sets of empirical cases: the emergence of new nationalisms in old European democracies (the United Kingdom and Belgium) and the reemergence of old nationalisms in several new democracies (Bulgaria, Slovakia, Estonia, and Latvia). Their work sheds crucially important light on an issue that is one of the most prominent in world politics today.


John T. Ishiyama is professor of political science, and Marijke Breuning is a professor of political science at the University of North Texas.


  • Prefeace.
  • Ethnopolitics and Ethnic Parties.
  • The Movement for Rights and Freedoms in Bulgaria.
  • The Hungarian Parties in Slovakia.
  • The Russophone Parties in Estonia and Latvia.
  • The Volksunie and the Vlaams Blok in Belgium.
  • The Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru in Great Britain.
  • Conclusion.