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Identity Politics:
The New World versus the New (and Old) Europe

March 22, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Texas Union, Quadrangle Room

This conference will explore models of identity politics, with a focus on ethnicity, race, and religion, in Europe, as well as in the United States. In the broadest sense, the conference will draw on scholars from both Europe and the U.S. in an effort to examine and compare the forms of ethnic identity and mobilization as well as models of state policy and political engagement as related to issues of identity. More specifically, we will see how widely divergent state policies translate into differing modes of political engagement by ethnic, religious, and other social groupings in these various contexts. Participants will address such questions as: how are ethnic minorities incorporated into the political system, particularly through elections, in American, Western and Eastern European contexts and how do these environments affect relations among majority/minority populations? From the point of view of minority populations, which models have allowed for the greatest latitude in preserving ethnic or religious identities through education, media, etc.? Finally, what effects do different types of policies regarding crucial issues such as immigration and citizenship have on relations between ethnic groups? In short, this conference will examine the different models of minority inclusion or exclusion found in the American and European settings, with a particular eye to understanding how European models will affect identity politics as they expand eastward into contexts where historical and contemporary models are quite different.

This conference is free and open to the public. No registration required.


8:45 - 9:00 am
Douglas Biow (and/or Robert Moser and Mary Neuburger), UT-Austin

9:00 - 10:45 am
The Politics of Ethnic Competition and Conflict
Julie George, City University of New York
Ethnicity and Frozen Conflicts in Postcommunist States
Miroslav Mareš, Masaryk University, Brno Czech Republic: Roma
Anti-racist Militancy in East Central Europe: Between Government Cooperation and Ethnic Vigilantism
Melanie Ram, California State University, Fresno
Roma Rights and the Failure of Identity Politics

Coffee Break

11:00 - 12:30 pm
Ethnic Identity, Political Attitudes, and Political Incorporation of Minorities
Erik Kaufmann, Birkbeck University of London, United Kingdom
Ethnic or Civic Nation? Theorizing the American Case
Oleh Protsyk, European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI), Germany
Electoral representation in Eastern Europe

12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Lunch Break

2:00 - 3:45 pm
Ethnicity and the State - Immigration, Citizenship, and Multiculturalism

David Rueda, Oxford University
Welfare Chauvinism and Immigration in Western Europe
Carl Dahlström, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
A Losing Gamble. How Mainstream Parties Facilitate Anti-Immigrant Party Success
Andrew Konitzer, University of Pittsburgh
Speaking European: Conditionality, Public Attitudes and Pro-European Party Rhetoric in the Western Balkans

Coffee Break

4:00 - 5:30 pm
Ethnic Identity and Popular Attitudes of Minorities and Majorities
Rahsaan Maxwell, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
The Racial Discrimination Heuristic among Non-whites in the United Kingdom
Matthew Wright, American University
The Effect of Multiculturalism on Native Political Attitudes

5:30 - 6:30 pm
Reception (in symposium room)

Participant List


David Rueda
Oxford University
Welfare chauvinism and Immigration in Western Europe

Oleh Protsyk
European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI), Germany
Electoral representation in Eastern Europe

Miroslav Mareš
Masaryk University, Brno Czech Republic
Roma anti-racist militancy in East Central Europe: between government cooperation and ethnic vigilantism.

Carl Dahlström
University of Gothenburg, Sweden
A Losing Gamble. How Mainstream Parties Facilitate Anti-Immigrant Party Success

Eric Kaufman
Birkbeck University of London, United Kingdom
Why America is not Exceptional: Immigration and National Identity in Europe and the US


Julie George
City University of New York
Ethnic conflict in postcommunist states (former Yugoslavia, Georgia, Moldova)

Melanie Ram
University of California, Fresno
Roma Rights and the Failure of Identity Politics.

Andrew Konitzer
Indiana University
The former Yugoslavia

Matthew Wright
American University
Multiculturalism and Immigrant Identities

Rahsaan Maxwell
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Attitudes of and toward Muslims in Europe

Sponsored by the European Union; The Center for European Studies; The Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies; The Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies; The Texas Chair in Czech Studies; and the Swedish Excellence Endowment, with the cooperation of the Departments of History and Government.

  • Center for European Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st Street
    Austin, Texas 78712