The Politics of Nation-Building: Making Co-Nationals, Refugees, and Minorities

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Cambridge University Press, 2012 - Political Science - 255 pages
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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 - any aggregation of 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. This is the first book to explain systematically how the politics of ethnicity in the international arena determine which groups are assimilated, accommodated, or annihilated by their host states.

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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 ... Read full review


Introduction O Dv144
The International Politics of Assimilation Accommodation
Why the Balkans?
Analysis of Outliers
Greek NationBuilding in Western
Serbian NationBuilding toward
Application of the Theory Beyond the Balkans
Methodological Appendix
Author Index

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About the author (2012)

Harris Mylonas' research focuses on the processes of nation- and state-building, the politicization of cultural differences, immigration policy, and political development. He completed his Ph.D. at Yale University in 2008 and then joined the Political Science department at George Washington University as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2009. He is also an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies where he conducted research during the 2008 and 2011 2 academic years. His work has been published in Security Studies, Comparative Political Studies, Ethnopolitics, the European Journal of Political Research, and various edited volumes. He has also published opinion pieces in international newspapers and magazines (Los Angeles Times,,, Newsweek Japan, and the Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review, among others). He is currently working on his second book project - tentatively entitled The Politics of Ethnic Return Migration - analyzing the policies that states develop either to attract and/or to incorporate people returning to their country of origin, allegiance, or citizenship.

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