Zsuzsa Csergo

Zsuzsa Csergő


Political Studies

Queen's University

Zsuzsa Csergő’s research addresses questions of nationalism and democracy in post-Cold War Europe. She is a comparativist whose publications have focused on majority-minority relations and the politics of language rights in Central and Eastern Europe, and the changing faces of nationalism, kin-state activism, and minority inclusion in the enlarged European Union. She led the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) for six years (as President until 2020) and is currently the Director of the ASN’s global platform, “Virtual ASN.”

Before joining the Queen’s faculty, she was Assistant Professor of Political Science and Coordinator of the Women’s Leadership Program in U.S. and International Politics at the George Washington University. She has received a number of prestigious research fellowships and awards, including the Sherman Emerging Scholars Award at the University of North Carolina, the Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence, and major research grants from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the American Council of Learned Societies/Social Sciences Research Council, the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and the European Commission.

Her research in recent years has centered on questions around minority democratic agency, aiming to advance the general understanding about the conditions under which persistent minority populations can develop democratic agency despite the structural disadvantages of minority status. Csergő’s interest in the agency of minority actors was also reflected in some of her earlier work (e.g., Talk of the Nation: Language and Conflict in Romania and Slovakia, Cornell UP 2007; Europeanization and Changes in Minority Inclusion in Central and Eastern Europe, co-edited with Balázs Vizi, Intersections, 2017; Europeanization and Minority Political Agency, co-edited with Ada Regelmann, Routledge 2018). Her current projects focus on this theme more directly. A two-year fellowship funded by the European Commission enabled her to collect original data on the meso-level organizational activities of nine minority populations in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. The findings are incorporated in a book monograph she is writing about the building blocs of minority democratic agency. Meanwhile, she works on three collaborative projects focused on various dimensions of this theme: one explores the political agency of “ethnic newcomers” in historically divided cities; another develops a cross-regional comparative Minority Wellbeing Index (focused on socio-economic conditions and access to political and institutional decision-making); and the third focuses on the impact of securitization on ethnic minorities caught between states (where cross-border ethnic kinship becomes politicized in inter-state conflict).

Current Projects

This project examines change in ethnic rivalries in historically contested cities, where established status hierarchies are challenged by “political newcomers” such as immigrants and other newly mobilized ethno-cultural communities.

Read More about the Project

This is a cross-regional comparative index that focuses on minorities’ socio-economic conditions and access to political and institutional decision-making. Website anticipated launch, Fall 2022.

Read more about the Index Project

This project focuses on the impact of securitization on the democratic agency of ethnic minorities “caught between states” – in other words, where cross-border ethnic kinship becomes politicized in inter-state conflict.

Read more about the securitization project