Engineering an Ethnic Mosaic: The Institutionalization of Civic Nationalism in Kosovo, Israel, and the West Bank
Division: Humanities; Natural Sciences; Social Sciences
Dept/Program: Political Science
Document Type: Undergraduate Student Research
Mentor(s): Ian Lustick
Date of this Version: 01 May 2019
A perfect storm of ethnic-based violence is on the horizon, spurred on by increasing diversity, climate change, and the inability of many societies to handle these trends. This thesis examines the ways through which elites are incentivized to build institutions promoting a specific type of identity and how institutional structures use different means to promote the desired identity. It also addresses the ways through which state-based identity can be adapted to be inclusive while remaining salient. This will be done both through examinations of existing theory surrounding state structure and identity as well as two case studies where identity is a key factor. The first case study being development of identity in Kosovo, which embarked on an institutionally-based process of forming a civic-national identity after its independence in 2008. The case of Kosovo demonstrates how states with a recent history of ethnic conflict can institutionalize civic-national identities and in doing so, reduce the incidence of ethnic violence. The second case is that of Israel and the West Bank where an examination of how the ethnonational identities of the region were formed and the potential outcomes should a one-state solution be implemented demonstrate how different incentives lead to the construction of various institutional regimes. It concludes by using the two case studies to demonstrate how the institutionalization of civic-national identities can decrease the occurrence of ethnic conflict and how examining state institutions can give an overview of the politically salient identities within a state’s borders.