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Ethnic Diversity and Political Institutions



Ethnic diversity and representative democracy come often at clash with each because ethnic and religious groups in a single political system often have divergent political aspirations. The representation of their interests in the political system is a fundamental component of democracy, but its practical application is a common challenge for contemporary democracies. This seminar introduces students to the theory and practice of institutional tools to encouraging the representation of ethnic and religious diversity. After a short introduction to various theories of representation, specific topics include electoral system design, governmental set-up, parties and party systems, multi-level governance and constitutional courts as institutional arenas for resolving these conflicts.

Methods of Instruction

Seminar discussions

Study Material

Literature: c. 800 pages


Short Papers and a Case Study Paper
Written assignments can also be submitted in Dutch


Monday 2 April till 28 May, 13.00-15.00 hrs, all in several room; 2 Apr. SA29, 9 Apr Easter Monday, 16 Apr. 5A37, 23 Apr. 1A24, 30 Apr Queensday, 14 Apr. SA21, 21 May 5A41 and 28 May Pinksteren) and
Thursday 5 April till 31 May, 15.00-17.00 hrs, SA29 (except 26 Apr. and 3 May room 1A22 and 17 May Hemelvaart)

Entrance Requirements

Comparative Analysis of Political Systems