A broad-ranging study that explores the complex relationship between ethnicity and democratization, focusing on specific case studies including France, Spain, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Russia, Albania and Hungary. Marrying the empirical and theoretical, the book begins by conceptualizing the nature of ethnicity and relating these ideas to different theories of democracy and democratization. The contributors locate ethnic experiences within a series of common frameworks to shed light on key issues such as:
* the effect of democratization and authoritarian rule on ethnic tensions
* the extent to which ethnicity is constructed as an ideological tool
* whether democracy can only function if all citizens are fully assimilated.