Colloquium 'Political Organisations of Crossborder Minorities'

Balázs Dobos will give a presentation at the online Colloquium “Political Organisations of Crossborder Minorities” organised jointly by the Institute for Minority Rights (EURAC), Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict (Queens University Belfast), IPSA RC14 Politics and Ethnicity , IPSA RC28 Comparative Federalism and Multilevel Governance, PSA Specialist Group Ethnopolitics and the UACES CRN Reimagining Territorial Politics in Times of Crisis, 15–16 June 2021. Registration available at HERE.

Political organisations of minorities play a unique role in giving ‘voice’ to electorates that oftentimes are deemed marginal in national politics. Our colloquium engaged in analysis of parties which build upon their relationships with ethnoregional, ethnocultural and/or ethnopolitical voter base in Europe’s nation-states. Existing scholarship is divided on the terminology calling such political organisations, ethnic, minority, regional, ethnoregional, as well as ethnoregionalist parties; and explores a wide variety of organisations serving a territorially distinct segment of the national electorate when operating in regions of states where borders have historically moved around people. A subsegment of such parties, however, is acknowledged to avail of unique mobilisation resource for their voters: they appeal to their constituency’s (real or perceived) kinship with the majority in a neighbouring state to mobilise at the electoral day.

Our contributions focus on political organisations that make use of and mobilise their ‘kinship appeal’ to leverage power at the centre of the national state, as well as in the regions where their constituencies are based. There are three potential avenues to explore the dynamics of ‘kinship appeal’ in parties relationships with 1/ their voters, i.e. ethnic segment of the electorate, 2/ their competitors, i.e. other (domestic) parties, and 3/ state institutions, i.e. domestic and kin-state institutions. Over the two days of the event, we will discuss these in turn.