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What drives a state’s choice to assimilate, accommodate, or exclude ethnic groups within its territory? In this talk, Harris Mylonas will speak on his book, The Politics of Nation-Building: Making Co-Nationals, Refugees, and Minorities (Cambridge University Press, 2013), in which he 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.

About the speaker

Harris Mylonas joined the Elliott School of International Affairs in the fall of 2009 as Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs. He received his PhD in political science from Yale University in 2008, and completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Athens, Greece. For the 2008-09 and 2011-12 academic years, he was Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. He is Associate Editor of Nationalities Papers and Vice President of the Association for the Study of Nationalities.

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